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1 89 1 

[J// Rights Reserved] 

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Hlesan^er Crutcftsbanft %%.1S>. 




By the same Author. 


to the Cairngorm Mountains. ^VM Map, Boards, i/- 

BENNACHIE : Its Topography, Historical, Traditional 
and Ballad Lore, Geology and Botany. With Map and 
Illustrations, Boards, i/- ; Qoth, 2/- 

LOCHNAGAR : Its Topography, History, Traditions, Geology 
and Botany. With Map and Illustrations, Boards, i/- ; 
Cloth, 2/- 

In preparation, 
(Uniform with Bennachie and Lochnagar.) 
DEESIDE: From Aberdeen to the Wells of Dee. With Maps 
and Illustrations, Boards, i/- ; Cloth, 2/- 



Chapter I. — The White Mounth, . - . ^ 

Chapter II. — Ballater to Lochnagar— 

1. Ballater to Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, 

via Spital, - - - - 23 

2. Do. , via Bridge of Muick, - - 36 

3. Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge to the Dubh 

Loch, 52 

4. Do. to Cac Cam Beag, - - - 73 

Chapter III.— Ballater to Braemar— 

1. Ballater to Crathie, - - - 83 

2. Crathie to Inver, - - - 93 

3. Inver to Castleton, - - - 105 

Chapter IV.— Braemar to Lochnagar— 

1. Castleton to Loch Callater, - - 119 

2. Loch Callater to Cac Cam Beag, - 133 

Chapter V.— On Lochnagar, - - - - 145 

Chapter VI. —Its Geology and Botany, - - - 157 

Index, 184 





When ye White Mounth frae snaw is clear, 
Ye day o' doom is drawin* near. 

I ^ / ROM many localities in the North-East of the 
'|--l^ central division of Scotland, especially in the 

± County of Aberdeen and in the valley of the 

river Dee, a high mountain attracts the eye, from its 
majestic aspect, its precipices, and its culminating 
ridge and peak. This mountain, popularly called 
Lochnagar, but more correctly the White Mounth, is 
situated on the South side of the Dee in its upper 
part — some 45 miles inland from the North Sea — and 
forms the highest point in a mountain range which was 
long known among the high lands of Scotland by the 
name of the Mounth, and more recently as part of a 
larger range called the Grampians. The mountain 
range of the Mounth may be deemed to extend along 
the South side of the Dee upwards of 60 miles in a 
direction W.S.W. from the sea at the Girdleness (a 
little south of Aberdeen), along the conterminous bor- 
ders of the County of Aberdeen on the North, and 
the Counties of Kincardine, Forfar and Perth on the 
South, to Cam an Fhidleir, at the South- West corner 



of the County of Aberdeen, near the head or North 
end of Glen Tilt Here the Mounth abuts at a right 
angle on a great mountain range called the Dorsum 
Britanniae or Drum Alban, which forms part of the 
ridge or backbone of Scotland, and acts as the water- 
shed of the Tay and Forth, and part of the West 
boundary of Perthshire. 

Mr. Skene, however, in his Celtic Scotland^ says : — 

" The Mounth extends in nearly a straight line across the 
island from the Eastern Sea, near Aberdeen, to the Western 
Sea at Fort -William, having in its centre and at its western ter- 
mination the two highest mountains in Great Britain — Ben 
Muich Dhui and Ben Nevis . . . . If the Mounth is now 
known as the range of hills which separates the more southern 
Counties of Kincardine, Forfar, and Perth, from those of Aber- 
deen and Inverness on the north, it was not less known to the 
Venerable Bede, in the eighth century, as the steep and rugged 
mountains which separate the provinces of the southern from 
those of the northern Picts ". 

While about a dozen of British mountains reach a 
higher altitude than Lochnagar, it yet holds a distinct- 
ive place alike in fact and in fancy. It has much to 
offer to the student, the lover of nature, and even to 
the ordinary sight-seer — more than many of its nomin- 
al superiors. In the popular mind Lochnagar has 
had adventitious aids to its prominence. One who 
afterwards became a great poet lived under its shadows 
when he was young, and became so impressed with its 
wild crags and its frowning glories, that in after years 
he sang of them in undying strains — strains that have 
spread its name and its fame through all lands. Then 
for more than forty years, one who has been even 
* greater as a Queen than Byron was great as a poet, 
has delighted to dwell at its base, and has often 


climbed to its summit. Thus Lochnagar has attained 
special distinction for itself, and through those who 
have been associated with it ; and one may therefore 
be pardoned who seeks to take up the story of the 
mountain, and to tell, as best he can, of its con- 
figuration and its features, its peaks and its preci- 
pices, its corries and its lochs, its surroundings in glen 
and river, its legends and traditions as they still linger 
(though ever growing more indistinct) in the memories 
of those who have their homes within its influence. 
The writer hopes that he may be able to present an 
interesting and in some degree instructive account of 
the mountain which, more than any other, ever comes 
before the mind as essentially and characteristically 
Scottish, and yet having associations that seem to make 
it the common property of every man, woman and 
child, throughout the world, who has any aquaintance 
with English literature and history. 

The term " Mounth " is of considerable antiquity. 
Wyntoun, in his Orygynall Cronykil of Scotland — a 
work written in verse in the beginning of the fifteenth 
century — speaking of Macbeth, says ; — 

O'er the Mounth they chased him there, 
Intil the Wood of Lumphanan. 

There is also a proverbial saying, " He's over the 
Mounth", which points to the general use of the name 
in olden times. Popularly, however, the term Mounth 
has fallen out of use in favour of the term Grampians, 
which has been applied loosely to the mountain 
systems of the central Highlands of Scotland. Hector 
Boece in 152 1 adopted the name Grampians from the 
term Mons Grampius or Granpius, applied by Tacitus 


to the place where Agricola and the Romans in a.d. 
55 defeated Galgacus and the Caledonians, and Skene 
supposes this place to have been near the junction of 
the Tay with the Isla. This may have led to the 
popular application of a fine euphonic term like that 
of " the Grampians " to an extended range of hills, 
as Home makes his hero do in the tragedy of 
" Douglas " :— 

My name is Nerval. On the Grampian hills 

My father feeds his flocks. 

Notwithstanding the disuse of the term "the 
Mounth ", enough remains, in some cases slightly dis- 
guised, to show its general application to the range 
which forms the watershed between the North-flowing 
tributaries of the Dee, and the South-flowing streams 
of the Tilt, Shee, Isla, South Esk, North Esk and 
Bervie Water. Beginning at the East end of the chain, 
we have on the South side of the Dee, not far from 
Aberdeen, "Causey Mounth", in the Parish of 
Banchory-Devenick and County of Kincardine, on the 
road which formerly led from the South, through Sir 
Walter Scott's "Muirof Drumthwacket", to the ferry 
of the Dee and so to Aberdeen. This ferry was a 
little above the. railway bridge over the Dee at Aber- 
deen, at what is still known as the "Foords of Dee", 
which ferry was rendered unnecessary by the erection 
of the Bridge, of Dee, begun by Bishop Elphinstone 
in 1500 and completed in 15 16 by Bishop Gavin 
Dunbar. In the year 1380 Paul Crabb, tenant of the 
lands of Kincorth, on the South side of the ferry, gave 
an annuity towards the support of the "Causey 
Mounth " road, so called from the line of road passing 
through a moss which required causeying to render it 


passable. From this circumstance the name of the 
farm, " Causeyport ", on the edge of the moss can be 
understood. Next we have "Slug Mounth", from 
Stonehaven by the West side of Cairn Mon-earn to the 
Dee ; and then the ** Cairn-o'-Mounth", on the borders 
of the parishes of Fordoun and Strachan — the latter 
one of the principal roads between the South and the 
North. Still further Westward there is the "Fir- 
Mounth " — so called from the abundance of trees in 
the olden time where it intersects Glen Tanner — or, as 
it is sometimes simply called, the " Mounth " or 
" Mount " Road. This was the ancient public road 
between Brechin and Ballater, crossing Mount Keen, 
which latter hill was often known as " Mounth 
Keen". The word is next met with in "Capel 
>lounth " — the name of the much-frequented (in olden 
times) pass between Glen Clova in Forfarshire and 
Glen Muick in Aberdeenshire. Then we have the 
" White Mounth " (Lochnagar), and to the West of it 
is "Tolmount", on the borders of the Counties of 
Forfar and Aberdeen at the watershed of Glen Doll 
and Glen Callater — Doll being probably a corruption 
of Toll. This last "passage" has become more 
widely known from the recent unsuccessful attempt of 
the new proprietor of Glen Doll to shut up the ancient 

The old names, thus specified, mark the ancient 
paths across " the Mounth " which in former times 
were in constant use. The introduction of good roads 
and railways into the Highlands rendered the most of 
these paths and drove roads of little use for their original 
purposes. The drover may yet be seen at intervals 
on these ways ; the tramp is still to be found on most 


of them ; and the tourist has also to be reckoned 
with. In fact, the pedestrian tourist has shown 
himself determined to maintain the rights acquired 
from his predecessors, and he will doubtless tena- 
ciously keep his grip of the keys of the picturesque, if 
not commercial, roads of his native country. 

The meaning of the word " Month, Mounth*', is 
thus given in Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary : — " i, a 
mountain ; 2, the Grampian mountains towards their 
Eastern extremity". He derives the word from the 
Anglo-Saxon monte^ doubtless the same as* the Latin 
mons^ monitSy a mountain. Another authority ascribes 
the term " Mbunth " to a peculiar kind of mountain 

In the Ordnance Survey maps the name " White 
Mounts" will be found on the high table-land between 
the two little lochs Lochnagar and Dubh Loch, the 
word " mounts " being obviously a mistake for 
"mounth". The Rev. George Skene Keith, D.D., in 
the appendix to his Agricultural Survey of Aberdeen- 
shire, published in 181 1, says of Lochnagar, that "the 
second top, or border of the White Mounth " was 3780 
feet in height. The inference from these and the 
other facts stated is plain — that the old name of the 
mountain, now universally known as Lochnagar, was 
" the White Mounth". As it is the highest point in 
" the Mounth " the title was peculiarly appropriate, 
because then as now, snow would naturally lie longest 
on it. 

Lochnagar is the highest mountain on the South 
side of the river Dee. It is situated in the great 
Highland district of Mar, in the County of Aberdeen, 
and is drained solely by tributaries of the Dee. The 


highest point is in the united Parish of Crathie-Braemar, 
but the greater part of the table-land of the mountain 
lies in another united Parish, that of Glenmuick-Tullich- 
Glengairn, The Northern portion of the mountain is 
mostly in Crathie, the Southern in Glenmuick ; and it 
will be convenient hereafter to refer to these united 
Parishes as Crathie and Glenmuick respectively. 

There are,, as already mentioned, a few higher 
mountains in Scotland than Lochnagar, but none more 
generally or deservedly popular. The beauty and 
grandeur of the mountain itself are amply sufficient 
to render Lochnagar of the utmost interest to the 
mountaineer and the lover of nature. It sufficiently 
overtops and stands apart from its surrounding com- 
peers to give dignity to its appearance when seen either 
from the vicinity or from a distance ; its corries are 
deep and numerous ; its precipices perpendicular and 
" frowning" ; it abounds in lochs in most picturesque 
positions ; and its general outline, especially as seen 
from the East and North, is most graceful. It is readily 
recognisable from most of the chief hills of Aberdeen- 
shire, and from many lower parts in the same County, 
as well as from hills in other Counties ; and, to crown 
all, the prospect from its summit is barely surpassed 
by that from any of our inland mountains of even 
greater altitude. The lover of mountain scenery, the 
geologist, and especially the botanist, will find Loch- 
nagar of peculiar interest. Further, it may be men- 
tioned that while all the valley of the Dee is deservedly 
famous for its scenery, Upper Deeside, in which Loch- 
nagar is situated, is specially thus distinguished, and is 
noteworthy also from antiquarian and historical points 
of view. Braemar Castle, Invercauld House, Balmoral 


Castle, Abergeldie Castle, and other buildings (or ruins) 
of general interest are at the very foot of the mountain, 
and with other attractions render the ground classic. 

The boundaries of Lochnagar are well defined by 
natural depressions containing lochs and streams. On 
the North there is the river Dee ; on the East its tri- 
butary the Muick, with Loch Muick ; on the South 
its chief environments are Loch Muick, Dubh Loch, 
and Loch Callater ; and on the West are the Callater 
Bum and the Clunie Water, the latter another great 
tributary of the Dee, entering it near Braemar Castle. 
The extent of Lochnagar as thus defined is considerable. 
The distance between the mouths of the Muick apd 
the Clunie is about 13^ miles, while from Dubh Loch 
to the Dee at Balmoral is 7 J miles. But the mountain- 
ous mass of Lochnagar may be more correctly esti- 
mated by taking the distance between the Muick and 
the Callater Burn (by the South side of Lochnagar) as 
9 miles, and from Dubh Loch to a point 1250 feet in 
height near Balmoral Castle on the Gelder Burn as 
nearly 7 miles, giving altogether an extent of about 63 
square miles of country, elevated more than 1250 feet 
above the sea level. At the same time it must not be 
forgotten that " the Coyles" between the Muick and 
the Girnock, and Craig Choinnich, in the lower angle 
of the Dee and the Clunie — to which reference will 
again be made — must be considered as stepping-stones 
to Lochnagar, seeing that at only one point does the 
height of the intervening ground sink slightly below 
1250 feet. 

Lochnagar, on a little consideration, will be found 
to be a strange and unique name for a mountain, even 
in this the land of mountains, where nice differences 


in the appellations of heights are carried out to an ex- 
tent that only the Gaelic language appears to admit. 
As applied to the mountain the term " Lochnagar" is 
a misnomer, that name only belonging properly to the 
small loch that lies at the bottom of the crags near the 
highest point of the White Mounth (Cac Carn Beag). 
An old native of the district, when questioned as tq 
the absolute accuracy of the expression "on the 
top of Lochnagar", replied, " You could only possibly 
be * on the top of Z^^^^nagar ' in a boat or during very 
frosty weather " ! I am not aware of any other instance 
of a mountain bearing the name of a loch without 
the prefix of the word " Beti " or something similar, 
so as to distinguish loch from mountain. Nor have I 
been able to trace when the name of the loch was 
transferred to the mountain, but the change must be 
comparatively modern. Lord Byron, however, has 
sung of it as " Lochnagar ", and so doubtless it will 
remain to the end of time. 

The meaning of the word " Lochnagar " has pro- 
voked not a little discussion, even the spelling not 
having been generally agreed on at one time. As for the 
latter, a reference may be permitted to Blaeu's map 
(of 1654), where the loch is marked as " L. na Garr ", 
the mountain itself being there nameless. I am in- 
clined to think that " Lochnagar " signifies " the loch 
of the goat ", the mountains in this neighbourhood, 
as in many other parts of the Highlands, abounding at 
one time with goats. Indeed the name " Gar " occurs 
several times in the vicinity, the nearest instance being 
"Creag nan Gabhar" a little to the West of Loch 
Callater. " Creagan nan Gabhar '' is also the name of 
a small craig between Glen Dee and Glen Luibeg, 


while " Lochan nan Gabhar " is the name of a lochlet 
on the North side of Ben Avon. The highest point 
of the Beinn a' Ghlo group of mountains in Glen Tilt 
is known as " Cam nan Gabhar ". (The letters bh in 
these examples are mute.) But the Rev. Alexander 
Stewart, LL.D., better known to many as "Nether Loch- 
aber ", an authority on Gaelic topography, holds that 
" Lochnagar signifies Loch na gaoir or Loch na gair — 
the loch of the sobbing and wailing when the mountain 
winds sweep across its expanse. The mountain ought 
clearly to be called not Loch-na-gar but Ben-na-Gair". 
Mr. Donald Mackinnon, M.A., Professor of Celtic Lan- 
guages in the University of Edinburgh, thus writes me 
on the subject : — " With all the aids available many of 
our Gaelic names are as yet unexplainable. I would 
not myself hazard even a guess as to the meaning of 
the gar in Lochnagar without obtaining, first, all the 
old forms that can be got, and, second, the exact 
pronunciation by the people of the district. With 
such help the vocable may remain still obscure ; with- 
out it any suggested derivation must remain at best a 
guess more or less happy, but of no scientific value. 
The language has undergone great change, and the 
place-names frequently preserve the most reliable 
evidence we, in Scotland, in the absence of many 
written documents, possess". 

There are no less than eleven summits on Lochna- 
gar, each with a height of upwards of 3,000 feet above 
the sea level. These summits are : — 

Height in feet. 

1. CacCarnBeag, 3786*2 

2. Cac Carn Mor, 3768-1 

3. Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, . . . 3630 


Height in feet. 

4. Cairn of Corbreach, 3571 

5. Cuidhe Crom, 3552*4 

6. Creag a' Ghlas-uillt, 3450 

7. Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, 3429*6 

8. Cam an t-Sagairt Beag, 3424 

9. Meikle Pap, 3210*8 

10. Little Pap, 

11. Meall Coire na Saobhaidhe, ... 3190*5 

(The "summits" numbered 3, 4, 6, 8, and 11, do 
not require attention from the general tourist.) 

Cac Carn Beag, a natural " cairn ", stands between 
Lochnagar (the loch) and Lochan an Eoin, but nearer 
the former. It slopes on the North towards Meall 
Coire na Saobhaidhe, from which it is distant, there 
being a depression between them, about seven furlongs. 

Cac Carn Mor is a quarter of a mile to the South- 
South-East of Cac Carn Beag, and close to the top of 
the rocks at the bottom of which is " Lochnagar". The 
cairn is partly artificial. 

Cairn of Corbreach is immediately above^ and 
on the South side of, Lochan an Eoin; there is no 
" cairn". Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach is a little to the 
South of it, lying between Allt a' Choire Bhoidheach 
on the East, and Allt na Da Chraobh Bheath on 
the West — the two most northerly head streams of 
the Muick. It is unmarked by a cairn : Creag a' 
Ghlas-uillt, also unmarked, lies to the South-East of 
Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, between the Glas Allt and 
Allt an Lochan Buidhe, two burns flowing parallel. 

Cuidhe Crom, which faces the mountaineer as the 
ascent is made from Glen Muick, lies to the West of 


the head streams of the Allt na Guibhsaich and North- 
ward from the Glas Allt It is marked " 3552 " on the 
one-inch O. S. map. The Meikle Pap is to the North 
of it, at a distance of about three quarters of a mile, 
while the Little Pap is to the South, at a distance of 
about a quarter of a mile — these three summits being 
almost in line. The two " Paps " are readily recog- 
nisable from their shape, these modern names being 
simply translations from the Gaelic "Ciche Mhor" 
and ** Ciche Beag " respectively. 

Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, marked " 3430 " on the 
one-inch O. S. map, is between Loch Callater and 
Lochan an Eoin. It is better known as Meikle Cairn 
Taggart — or simply Cairn Taggart. A ridge of it to 
the Westward of Lochan an Eoin is called Cam an 
t-Sagairt Beag, or Little Cairn Taggart. 

Cac Carn Beag, Meall Coire na Saobhaidhe, and 
Meikle Pap are in the Parish of Crathie ; Carn a' 
Choire Bhoidheach, Creag a' Ghlas-uillt, Cuidhe Crom, 
and Little Pap are in Glenmuick; while Cac Cam 
Mor, Cairn of Corbreach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and 
Carn an t-Sagairt Beag are on the border of these two 

Besides these eleven summits there is a large 
number of minor peaks that need not be referred to 
here. Exception ought perhaps to be made as regards 
Conachcraig, a range of about four miles in length on 
the East side of Glen Gelder, which attains an altitude of 
2827 feet. Several of the lower summits along the 
Dee are familiar to the public, from the memorial 
cairns erected on them by the Queen. 


Donjons, and towers, and castles grey 
Stand guardians by the winding way. 

I, Ballater to Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, via SpitaL 

THE principal points from which Lochnagar is ap- 
proached and ascended are Ballater and Braemar. All 
other routes are of comparatively little importance, but 
will be duly referred to in the course of the work. 
From Ballater the distance to the highest summit of 
the mountain is 13 J miles, but of that 9 may be driven, 
leaving only 4 J for walking. The village of Ballater is 
43J miles by rail and 42 by road from Aberdeen, and 
stands at a height of 658 feet above sea level, on the 
left or North bank of the Dee, in the Parish of Glen- 
muick. Claiming to be the capital of the Deeside High- 
lands, it is nevertheless of modern, not to say of recent 
date. Ballater, as a Highland summer and autumn 
resort, has a popularity second to none in the North, but 
till 1760 the site of the village was a bare moor, without 
a single house — Tullich, some two miles down the 
river on the same side, having then the Church, Inn, 
Post Office, &c., although it is now all but deserted. 
In 1760 the Wells of Pannanich, about two miles 
below Ballater on the South side of the Dee, became 
famous as a health resort. The hamlet of Pannanich 
and the village of Ballater were accordingly built for 
the accommodation of the seekers after health and 


pleasure who flocked to " The Wells". According to 
the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal of 1830, 
Ballater is "always crowded during the summer 
months with invalids and other visitors, brought 
together by the fame of the chalybeate wells of 
Pannanich and the magnificence and beauty of the 
surrounding scenery". The Wells have greatly de- 
clined in public favour ; but Ballater has steadily in- 
creased in size and popularity — having even attained 
the dignity of a police burgh — and is still growing 
rapidly. G. Fenwell Robson in his Scenery of the 
Grampian Mountains^ a fine work published in 181 4, 
gives several capital views of Lochnagar, one of which 
is taken from the vicinity of Ballater. In that view 
the village appears to consist of the Church and about 
half-a-dozen houses, at the base of that gigantic mound 
of rock, Craigendarroch, which dominates it on the 
North side. 

Starting from Ballater to Lochnagar the Dee is 
crossed by a handsome granite bridge, and the South 
Deeside Road — to the right — is taken. This bridge 
was opened by the Queen only a few years ago, and 
is the fourth that has been constructed almost at the 
same point within the past hundred years, and already 
it is being spoken of as not likely to have a long life. 
A direction post at the South end of the bridge gives 
the following information : — 

Pannanich, if Miles. Glenmuick [House] i Mile. 
Dinnet Bridge 6 J „ Abergeldie 6J „ 

Aboyne 11 „ Balmoral Z\ „ 

The ruins of Braichlie Castle and the modern 
Braichlie House are passed a little to the left, and 


fully half a mile from Ballater Bridge the Bridge of 
Muick is reached, near where the Muick joins the 
Dee. Here the traveller has the option of two ways 
up Glen Muick towards Lochnagar — one by crossing the 
Muick and going up what is known as the Balmoral 
side from the property there belonging to Her Majesty; 
the other by keeping the right bank of the Muick and 
going along the road on the Mackenzie side, so called 
from that portion of the glen belonging to Sir Allan 
Mackenzie of Glenmuick. It will be more convenient 
to deal with the latter route first. 

Leaving Bridge of Muick behind, a handsome 
Episcopal Church is soon passed a little to the left, 
and a short distance beyond it stands Glenmuick 
House ; while Birkhall, the property of the Queen, 
may be seen a little farther away on the opposite side 
of the Muick. About half a mile above Birkhall is 
Mill of Stern, to which a cart road leads down from the 
right. To the pedestrian who is anxious to avail 
himself of the shortest route, it is advantageous to cross 
the Muick here, biit meantime it is assumed that the 
Mackenzie side is kept. The next point of interest is 
the Falls of Muick, which, however, are more con- 
veniently seen from the Balmoral side. Emerging from 
the wood above the Falls the bare and higher 
portion of the Glen is entered, though from the old 
tree roots that are met with in the upper parts, it is 
evident that it had at one time been wooded through- 
out, and had afforded capital shelter for the wild swine 
that persumably had formerly abounded in the Glen — 
for Glen Muick signifies the " sow's valley". It may 
be noted how well watered this side of the glen is, 
affording capital grazing for deer. The streams on this 


side of the Muick rise, in the lower part of the glen, 
on the watershed of Glen Tanner, and in the upper on 
that of Glen Mark. 

At this point a good view of Lochnagar, or rather 
of some of its summits, is obtained. On the left the 
Little Pap may be readily recognised, and to the right 
of it Cuidhe Crom and Conachcraig — ^the two latter as 
though there were no gap between them. The Conach- 
craig range is apt at iirst blush to be mistaken by 
strangers as forming the main mass of Lochnagar. 
But by the time a ford across the Muick is passed 
(known as the Ford of Inschnabobart), such a mag- 
nificent view is got, that there is no mistaking the 
monarch of the Mounth. Passing the Ford, to which 
a rough cart-track on the right shows the way, there are, 
also on the right, the ruins of an old publit-house 
known as "Teetabootie" (look about you). These 
ruins are recognisable by the circumstance that several 
houses had been in line and close to each other. 
Three quarters of a mile farther up the Glen is Spital of 
Muick, the end of our driving road on this side. 
Spital of Muick is now represented by a gamekeeper's 
house, with, on the opposite side of the road from it, 
the ruins of a public-house, which (in 1815) succeeded 
Teetabootie. At the back of the keeper's house is a 
" Loupin'-on Stane", where the last " landlady " was 
wont to mount her pony. From this stone a footpath, 
rather indistinct in some places, leads over the Muick 
(by a foot-bridge at a height of 1298 feet) to AUtna- 
guibhsaich Lodge, about three quarters of a mile 
distant The Lodge, which is surrounded by trees, 
cannot be mistaken, there being no other house in the 


A halt may now be made before commencing the 
ascent, and during the rest a brief account maybe 
given of the more interesting features of the route that 
has been traversed. Braichlie Castle was among the 
first of these mentioned. Its ruins are scanty enough 
now, for they have been "vandalised", the stones 
having been carried off to serve in the erection of more 
modem buildings. The place is popular from the 
well-known ballad entitled "The Barrone of Braichlie", 
of which the first two lines are : — 

Inverey came down Deeside whistlin* and playin', 
He was at brave Braichlie*s yetts ere it was dawin.' 

The ballad tells of a successful attack made on 7th 
September, 1666, by Farquharson of Inverey on Gor- 
don of Braichlie, a relation of the Earl of Huntly. 
The old avenue approach, lined with ash trees, may 
still be seen from the road, the entrance to Braichlie 
House being a little beyond. The property of Braich- 
lie, as well as the whole of the South-East side of Glen 
Muick, was purchased in 1863 ^^m the late Colonel 
Farquharson of Invercauld, by the late Sir (then 
Mr.) James T. Mackenzie, the proprietor of Kintail. 
The Farquharsons purchased Glen Muick some time 
during the seventeenth century from the Gordons, by 
whose then head, the first Earl of Huntly, it had been 
acquired. Mr. Mackenzie entertained the Shah of 
Persia at Glenmuick House during a portion of his 
visit to Deeside in 1889, and at the beginning of 1890 
he was created Baronet of " Glen Muick". The Epis- 
copal Church here was built by him in 1875, ^^^ ^is 
remains, as well as those of several members of his 
family, are interred in a large vault near the Church, 


which is dedicated to St Nathalan, the patron saint of 
the old Parish of TuUich. (The ruins of TuUich 
Church may be seen as Ballater is neared from the 
East. There is a curious story that the famous Reel 
of Tullich was composed and first danced at this 
Church on a cold winter Sunday in the " olden time". ) 
A short distance above St. Nathalan Church is Glen- 
muick House, erected by Sir James T. Mackenzie in 
1873. It occupies a commanding position, and appears 
to advantage from Ballater. The ground plan sur- 
rounds three sides of a quadrangle, and the structure 
has basement, ground, first and attic floors. The 
public rooms are very handsome. The whole building 
is lighted by gas made near by. The North, which is 
the principal elevation, has a handsome portico, with a 
covered-in carriage way, surmounted by a massive- 
looking square tower 75 feet in height. The building 
is of granite, large blocks of stone having been 
obtained in the neighbourhood, without much 
quarrying. It is in the Tudor style of architecture, 
so treated as to harmonise with the surrounding scenery. 
A little above the wood, beyond the Falls of Muick, 
Allt an t-Sneachda (the snowy burn, doubtless well 
named) joins the Muick, and is crossed by a wooden 
bridge, on the South side of which is a cairn, said to 
mark " where the last wolf was killed in Scotland ". 
But other places also claim that distinction. It is very 
probable that the cairn simply marks the spot where a 
funeral party had rested, it having been very common 
thus to indicate these places. 

The Inschnabobart Ford is very old, having existed 
before there was a road on the left bank of the Muick. 
It was then mostly used in connection with the road 

J^JfciJil-LLSfc^i, '•_■!?! 



leading from the Dee at Easter Balmoral, by the upper 
part of Strath Girnock, to the Muick at Inschnabobart, 
and so on to the South by the Capel Mounth. After 
the road on the left bank of the Muick was made, a 
foot-bridge was thrown over the stream, but it was 
taken down in 1863. It would be a great convenience 
to the public were it replaced, as it would allow of a 
considerable saving being effected in the walking 
distance, by enabling pedestrians to cross the river 
here, instead of their requiring to make a detour by 
Spital Bridge. Previous to 1836 the driving road on 
the right bank of the Muick stopped short at the 
Inschnabobart Ford. 

Nearing Spital a view of the highest point of Loch 
nagar is obtainable. Here, as at most other points, 
he is pleasing and grand, devoid of that lumpishness 
which distinguishes most of the higher Cairngorm 
mountains. On the left there is Little Pap, then 
Cuidhe Crom and Meikle Pap, with, between the latter 
two, the crags that form " the steep frowning glories 
of dark Lochnagar*'. Behind these crags is to be 
seen the peak of Cac Carn Beag. The Meikle Pap 
will be recognised by the deep square cut on its rocky 
top ; to the right of it, a deep hollow intervening, is 
Conachcraig, which is to the North-East of Lochnagar. 
The Muick, heretofore very bouldery, now winds 
smoothly and slowly along through mossy ground, 
with " peat-banks " on its sides, while remains of old 
shielings are plentiful. 

The inn or public-house at Spital of Muick — like 
its predecessor at Teetabootie — stood on one of the 
old roads from the North to the South. This particular 
road crossed the Capel Mounth, between Forfarshire 


and Aberdeenshire (as mentioned in the first chapter), 
and from Spital it turned down Glen Muick to the 
valley of the Dee. " Spitals", it may be mentioned, 
were planted in almost all the mountain passes of Scot- 
land, as well as in other places, being occupied by 
Churchmen, and managed in pretty much the same 
manner as the famous Hospice of St. Bernard on the 
Alps. At a very early date the Muick Spital was 
established by the Bishop and Chapter of Aberdeen. 
It stood on AUt Darrarie (the noisy burn), a tributary 
of the Muick, which rises in Coire Gorm where Aber- 
deenshire appears to enter, tooth-like, into Forfarshire. 
This Spital was well placed, and doubtless many a 
wayfarer was indebted to the Churchmen for providing 
that accommodation and ** refreshment for man and 
beast " which otherwise it would have been difficult to 
obtain in such a locality. It is also evident that this 
and other Spitals served as side-chapels for the popula- 
tion which existed where they were planted, or that 
grew up around them. It need not be told here 
how the Churchmen and the Spitals were separated. 
A public-house was conducted at Teetabootie till 1815, 
when the fall in prices, resulting upon the declaration 
of peace after the Bonaparte wars, brought disaster to 
the tenant and to other residenters in Glen Muick, as 
it did to so many stock-dealers and farmers elsewhere. 
From Teetabootie the business was transferred to the 
Spital, where it was continued till 1846. Only a small 
portion of the gable of the public-house — which was 
understood to be close to the site of the ancient 
hospice — now remains. . The Allt Darrarie formerly 
flowed close past the house, but, as it was apt to cause 
damage when in flood, it was diverted, about 1837, to 


some little distance on the East side. The old channel 
is quite dry now, but perfectly distinct ; and, spite of 
the bulwark made to change the course of the stream, a 
considerable spate would send its waters down by the 
old bed. One is very apt in mist to lose the Capel 
Mounth path, when proceeding from the South Esk, 
the track by the Capel Burn being indistinct in several 
places. Many have, as a consequence, wandered down 
the AUt Darrarie, a longer and rougher route; and 
several have lost their lives in storms in the upper 
part of that glen. About three miles above Spital 
a rough stone, on the left bank of the Darrarie, marks 
the burial place of " Couper " Glass. He was last seen 
at Spital, and it wds not for several months after his 
death that his body was found. Foul play was 
suspected by some as the cause of death, but most 
probably he died from exposure, aimlessly walking into 
Forfarshire after a carouse in Glen Muick. Some 
distance above Glass's grave a mound may be seen, 
below which are the remains of a man and a lad — likely 
father and son. They were found dead during a sheep- 
gathering, both having died from the effects of a severe 
storm which had overtaken them as they were entering 
Aberdeenshire by the Capel Mounth. They were 
believed to be umbrella-menders from the contents of 
a pack found beside their bodies. 

It is difficult now to realise the great numbers of 
cattle and sheep that formerly passed Spital of Muick, 
on their way from the extreme North to the South of 
Scotland, and even into England. All cattle were so 
driven at one time, and the glen routes were preferred 
alike on account of their softness for the animals' feet 
(which were sometimes shod for the journey), and 


because of the feeding by the way. This, the Capel 
Mounth route, was a popular pass, and Spital public- 
house a favourite and convenient halting-place, as cattle 
often rested here for two or three days. Crowds of 
Highland shearers, men and women from the North, 
travelled yearly on foot by this route, to assist in har- 
vesting the crops in the South. In going and returning 
they spent the nights in barns and outhouses, often 
making merry, a piper generally accompanying large 
parties to supply music for a dance. Naturally enough 
high words would sometimes on such occasions arise 
among the drovers and shepherds ; and a cairn, still 
standing, points out the spot where, between Spital and 
the Mnick, after one of these merry-makings, a shepherd 
was found dead with marks on his body testifying that 
death had resulted from foul usage. The shepherd's 
name was Donald Gordon, and his body was found the 
following morning by two women on their way South 
with a " birn " of stockings. It is yet related how " the 
landlord " led his family and servants to the body, 
making each lay his hand on the dead man's breast to 
prove his guilt or innocence. According to the well 
known old superstition, if a murdered man was touched 
by any person who had participated in the slaughter, 
the guilt of that person would be declared by the spurt- 
ing of blood from the wounds or the mouth of the 
corpse. Another cairn about a mile South from Spital 
by the pass road, marks the spot where a shepherd 
named Stewart perished in the snow, in 1843. Farther 
along is the "Pack Merchant's " Cairn — showing where 
a " Packman " was murdered for the contents of his 
purse, which were believed to be considerable. Another 
cairn — "the Souter's" — was raised to commemorate 


the finding of the body of a shoemaker who, towards 
the end of last century, got the reputation of occasion- 
ally informing on the smugglers. He met his death 
on the Capel Mounth, by being allowed to take his fill of 
spirits from a party conveying their smuggled goods to 
the South. This party left him behind, drunk, and, 
falling asleep, he died from exposure. 

By 1846 the formation of better roads in the low 
country, and the making of railways, had almost 
abolished the traffic upon such drove roads as that 
passing through Glen Muick and over the Capel 
Mounth, and so the public-house disappeared, as the 
Churchmen's hospice had done. Perhaps the public- 
house might still have found a number of customers, 
but deer forests and grouse moors were coming into 
fashion, and it is stated that " the laird " thought the 
old hostelry was becoming a resort for poachers, and, 
accordingly, he helped it out of existence. In this 
neighbourhood there is now but the one solitary 
"reekin'" lum, the gamekeeper's, to be seen, but the 
number of " larachs " (ruins) scattered along the river 
side, including those of a schoolhouse near Teetabootie, 
indicates that in former days a considerable population 
must have earned their livelihood in the district. 
Indeed the rigs of what was once cultivated land are 
still quite distinguishable. There are also remains of 
a corn kiln and a meal mill, while the ruins of a 
smuggling bothy show that here, as in other Lochna- 
gar glens, there had been manufacture and trading 
now deemed illicit 

CHAPTER II,— {Continued,) 


2, Ballater to Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, via Bridge 
of Muick, 

O I the Hielands are bonnie, when the heather's in bloom, 
An* ilk strath, where you wander, smells sweet wi* perfume. 

BRIDGE of Muick is about three-quarters of a mile 
South- West of Ballater, and carries the South Deeside 
turnpike over the stream, near the point where it falls 
into the Dee. A direction post at the bridge gives the 
following distances : — 

Falls of Muick, 5 Miles. 

Loch Muick, 8J » 

Birkhall, i| „ 

Balmoral, 7i » 

Crossing the Bridge the traveller to Lochnagar is upon 
the Balmoral side of the Muick, the road on which is 
better, but rather longer, than on the Mackenzie side. 
On the left-hand side of the road at the West end of 
the Bridge of Muick is the churchyard of the old 
Parish of Glenmuick, and the manse of the united 
Parish may be noticed on the opposite side of the 
road. Half-a-mile beyond, on the left, is a standing 
stone known as " Scurry Stane". The farm here is 
named after the stone, and so was a Roman Catholic 
Chapel which stood in its immediate neighbourhood. 
A short distance beyond Scurry Stane the Glen road, 
trending South-West-wards, leaves the turnpike at a point 


near the foot of a hillock or " cnoc" on which are the 
ruins of Knock Castle, and the Royal property of 
Birkhall is passed on the left, about a mile farther on. 
Half-a-mile beyond Birkhall may be seen, on the left, 
Mill of Stern (the clattering mill), where there is a 
wooden bridge, with stone piers, over the Muick. 
Between Mill of Stern and the Falls of Muick stand 
the miniature mountains named the Coyles of Muick. 
The Falls are surrounded by the Linn Wood, and are 
consequently heard before they are seen. After the 
wood is left behind, the Muick, with its peaty banks, 
shows but a poor contrast to the brattling river it was 
in the lower portion of the Glen. Beyond the Falls is 
Inschnabobart (the field of the poet's cow), a small 
farm having its steading on a brae on the right. Being 
about 1 300 feet above the sea level, this farm has the 
highest cultivated land in the Glen, and the farm house 
is the only dwelling between the Falls of Muick and 
Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, which is about a mile and a 
half distant in a Southerly direction. 

The present Bridge of Muick was built in 1878, 
replacing one which had stood on the same site for 
140 years, and which had the usual high-centred 
arched roadway that marked the bridges of former 
times, and enabled travellers to know •* when they were 
on them and when they were off them". 

The old Church of Glenmuick stood in the 
churchyard, on the left-hand side of the road, imme- 
diately to the West of the bridge. In pre-Reformation 
days it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It would 
appear to have been a very poor building in the last 
century, for the writer of the StfitisHcal Account in 1 794 
says that the Church then was "a very old house 


thatched with heath ". In 1798 a new Church was 
built in Ballater (on the site of the present Parish 
Church), and, strangely enough, on the night the found- 
ation of that Church was laid, the old building at 
Bridge of Muick was burned. According to one 
account, the minister's wife had hen nests inside the 
Church, and the maid, looking for eggs with a lighted 
bit of fir, accidentally set fire to the edifice. Another 
account has it, that the Church was burned intention- 
ally, with the view of destroying certain records con- 
cerning the Farquharsons of Invercauld, which that 
family were not particularly anxious to have preserved. 
These records are said to have been compiled by 
Priests of Scurry Stane Chapel, and to have been 
handed by their successors to the minister of Glen- 
muick. That story, although it still lingers in the 
district, is rather wanting in probability, because Roman 
Catholics carefully preserved and retained for them- 
selves all their old records, and there is no hint that 
any of the Farquharsons or their friends had a hand in 
the fire. Not a vestige of the ruins of the old Church 
is now to be seen. The burial place of the Gordons 
of Abergeldie is in the churchyard, distinguished by a 
high obelisk, within an iron railing. An exceedingly 
interesting tombstone stands close to the entrance gate 
of the churchyard. It is a rough coffin-shaped granite 
slab having the following inscription very rudely cut 
upon it : — 



The initials are said to be those of John Mitchell, who 
lived at Dalliefour, in Glenmuick, about a mile to the 



N'orth-West of the churchyard, and the dates are 
believed in the locality to be the years of his birth and 
death respectively! Tradition asserts that Mitchell 
was a skilful angler and a famous poacher. 

The Parish of Glenmuick, according to the earliest 
authorities, belonged to the Earl of Mar, his successors 
being respectively the Earl of Crawford and the Earl 
of Huntly. The grant to the latter is dated 29th 
January, 1449-50. In the course of time the land 
passed from the Earl of Huntly, head of the Gordons, 
to some of the younger branches of the clan, and 
latterly the Abergeldie estate alone remained to the 

Knock Castle (so named from its site) is a grey 
picturesque ruin, and is so sheltered and enclosed 
with trees as not to be readily discernible from the 
road. The Castle replaced a tower which had stood 
for centuries near the same site, and which dated 
back to the times of the ancient Earls of Mar. It 
would appear to have been held, along with the lands 
of Glen Muick, early in the fourteenth century, by a 
family named Bisset, and to have passed in succession 
to the Erasers, the Keiths (Earls Marischal), and the 
Gordons (Earls of Huntly). At one time the Castle 
was held by the Durwards, and was garrisoned with 
the view of maintaining the Royal authority on Upper 
Deeside. Alexander, the last Gordon of Knock, is 
believed to have built the present Castle. According 
to tradition his line ended in a single day. A feud 
having existed between him and "Black" Arthur Forbes 
of Strath Girnock, a "broken man", the latter fell 
upon Gordon's seven sons while they were casting turf, 
and killed them all before any resistance could be 


made, sticking their heads on their " flauchter-spades". 
When the news was carried to Gordon of Knock he 
fell down dead His kinsman, Gordon of Abergeldie, 
having the power of "pot and gallows " from his Chief 
the Earl of Huntly, made a summary end of " Black " 
Arthur. He then seized the lands of Strath Gimock, to 
which he served himself heir, while the lands of 
Knock fell to him by inheritance. Latterly they were 
included in the Birkhall portion of the Abergeldie 

Birkhall was formerly called Stiren, which name is 
still in use at the mill above. It formed part of the 
Abergeldie estate till its purchase for the Prince of 
Wales, from whom Her Majesty acquired it a few years 
ago. Birkhall, although only a plain three-story house, 
is a delightful residence, surrounded by trees of various 
descriptions. The original front, which is ivy-clad, 
faces theMuick, but an addition, of the same height, 
looks towards Ballater. Above the front door is the 
inscription: — 17. CG.RG. 15. 

Mill of Stem was formerly a meal mill, but after 
1838, when the glen began to get depopulated, meal 
mills became little needed, and the water power was 
utilised for a sawmill, which is still in operation. 
Another meal mill stood at Aucholzie, further up the 
Muick. The road above Mill of Stern is private, so 
far as public carriages are concerned, but under certain 
conditions it may at times be used as far as Alltna- 
guibhsaich Lodge. Sometimes, when driving on the 
Mackenzie side, the Muick can be forded at Inschna- 
bobart, instead of driving up to Spital — the part of the 
road on the Balmoral side adave Inschnabobart being 
held by some to be public. 


The Coyles of Muick are prominent objects from 
Ballater, as well as from many other, points. The name 
is derived from Cailk^ a wood or forest The Coyle 
attains a height of 1956 feet, and is surmounted by a 
big cairn. The following inscription is carved upon 
a stone which is meanwhile lying at the foot of the 
cairn : — 



in remembrance of 

the marriage of 

Albert Edward Prince of Wales 


Alexandra Princess of Denmark. 
lOTH March, 1863. 

When the marriage of the Prince of Wales 
took place, the tenants on the Birkhall estate built a 
commemorative cairn on CreagBheag, one of the 
minor Coyles (the one nearest the Muick), but as 
that cairn became ruinous Her Majesty caused the 
present one to be raised on the higher point. The 
elements, however, have not paid much respect to 
this cairn. The green tops of the Coyles are due to 
the scantiness of the heather on them. The Coyle 
consists of serpentine, a soft rock the soil from the 
decomposition of which is inimical to the growth of 
heathen The serpentine continues for nearly two 
miles towards the North in several bare peaks> and 
to it succeeds hornblende slate, mica slate, and 

" The Laird's Bed", a bit of sloping rock, may still 


be seen on the Coyle. Here the LAi'rd of Birkhall 
found occasion to betake himself for a time after the 
'45. Meall Dubh (the black lumpy hill), another of 
the Coyles, composed of hornblende slate, once pos- 
sessed a slate quarry, and the roof-covering for Birkhall 
House was obtained from it Eagles are at times yet 
to be seen on the Coyles ; no less than six were seen 
together on a certain occasion " hunting " a wounded 

On the West side of the Coyles two fir trees stand- 
ing close together may still be seen, which, according 
to popular belief, have a history of their own. It 
seems that several centuries ago there had been three 
trees on this spot, one of them having been cut down 
by the younger of two brothers who had the grazing 
on the Coyles. The elder brother had objected to the 
tree being felled, and even cursed the trees themselves, 
and every person that dared lift an axe on them. 
Nevertheless, his brother having cut down the tree, 
built a bam with it ; but the barn was soon burnt to 
the ground. Shortly after the tree-feller got into 
financial difficulties, and ultimately died a drivelling 
idiot — all following, it was generally held, upon his 
brother's curse ! The malediction also has been strong 
enough to preserve the other two trees to the present 
day ; and woe betide the man daring enough to touch 

At the Falls of Muick the glen is contracted and 
richly wooded (larch trees predominating), and the 
banks of the stream are profusely adorned with wild 
flowers and ferns in the summer and autumn months. 
The Falls are thirty to forty feet in height, descending 
over hornblende slate, some parts of which are 


laminated and intersected by granite. Her Majesty 
often pays them a visit during her residence at Bal- 
moral. When snow is lying thickly in the vicinity, and 
the rocks ar^ coviered with ice, the Falls have a 
peculiar beauty that, to many eyes, transcends their 
summer charms. Despite many an effort, salmon are 
unable to ascend the Falls ; but a salmon ladder would 
remedy that Were such a ladder constructed there 
would be a slight loss to the picturesque, but the fish 
would be enabled to take advantage of the fine ground 
for spawning beds in the river above the Falls, and also 
to reach Loch Muick. According to Pennant the 
"hole " of the Falls was ** supposed by the vulgar to 
be bottomless" — a. belief entertained in regard to 
almost every pool that could not be readily plumbed 
by the simplest methods at command in bygone days. 
Like the gorge at the Linn of Dee, the Muick is so 
contracted that it can be stepped over in dry seasons 
at the point where the water commences its plunge 
down the rock. Above the Falls the water seems to 
be forming cavities in the rock of more or less 
circular shape. On a recent visit the writer ex- 
amined a cavity, the depth of which proved to be 14 
inches after a quantity of pebbles had been removed 
from it At the surface of the rock its diameter 
was about 4 inches, and it was sufficiently wide to 
allow the hand to get easily to the bottom. One 
striking peculiarity is that the water could only have 
acted while the Muick was in spate upon the rock 
in which this cavity is formed. 

Beyond the Falls, the great hollow containing 
Loch Muick presents itself to view. It appears girt 
about with mountains, having steep fronts with fiattish 


summits. The effect produced under certain atmos- 
pheric conditions, with play of isun and mist, is weird 
and fanciful. 

A small bum (now known as AUt a' Mhsude — the 
Fox's Bum) joins the Muick at Inschnabobart, close 
to the West end of the Ford, and is crossed by a neat 
stone bridge. The old name of this streamlet signified 
" the burn of the two sticks", referring doubtless to the 
fact that it had formerly been crossed by a bridge con- 
sisting only of two trees laid lengthwise. The first cart 
with wheels in use at Inschnabobart was brought there 
in the first decade of the present century from Kirrie- 
muir, having been drawn over the Capel Mounth by 
two horses, with four men rendering assistance. 

The Allt na Guibhsaich (the fir tree burn) flows at 
the back of the Lodge (or Shiel, as it is sometimes 
called). The road crosses it by a neat wooden bridge 
with stone piers, at which public carriages have to stop. 
The present bridge, as well as the road, was made by 
the Queen, and replaced a bridge and road made by 
the Gordons of Abergeldie, the new road being named 
the " Prince's Drive". The " Gordon" road, and one 
that had preceded it, can still be traced — the piers of 
the old bridge being about forty yards above the new. 
But the old route to Lochnagar did not cross 
the bum, the path, which can hardly now be traced, 
leading up the left bank of the stream. The Lodge 
was formerly called "The Hut", and it really 
deserved that name in the end of the last cen- 
tury, when the roof was covered with sods and the 
house had but one "lum". In 1810, however, the 
Rev. Dr. Skene Keith, speaks of it as " a most com- 
modious cottage belonging to Captain Gordon" of 


Abergeldie. Writing in 1850 the Rev. Mr. Grierson 
says : — '^ It is called * The Hut', and consists of three 
rooms, and a kitchen detached". Now it is a neat 
little " Lodge " with two public rooms and about half 
a dozen bedrooms. It is a most charming occasional 
residence about a mile North of the foot of Loch Muick, 
which is visible from the front of the house, a number 
of trees having been cut down to admit of the view. 
The Queen and the late Prince Consort frequently 
spent a night or two at the Lodge. The ruins of 
humbler abodes may be seen in the neighbourhood, 
showing that this side of the Muick, as well as the 
other in the neighbourhood of the Spital, had formerly 
ja considerable number of inhabitants, where now, 
under the new order of things, a single household 
would find difficulty in subsisting. 

CHAPTER ll.-^( Continued.) 

J. Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge to the Duhh Jjoch, 

Lands may be fair ayont the sea, 
But Hielan' hills and lochs for me. 

HAVING reached Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge from 
Ballater up Glen Muick, the mountaineer is at the 
real starting point for the ascent of Lochnagar. A 
capital excursion may, however, be occasionally made 
from the Lodge to Loch Muick, the Glasallt Shiel, the 
Falls of the Glasallt, and the Dubh Loch, by a route 
which, while in some parts solitary and grand, is of 
the most picturesque character throughout. There is 
a driving road from Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge to the 
Glasallt Shiel near the head of Loch Muick, a distance 
of about three miles, and a pony path leads from the 
Shiel to the Dubh Loch. These places are all on Her 
Majesty's estate, and the roads have been specially 
made at the Queen's expense. Even were that not 
the case, no one would think of intruding on the 
Queen's privacy, and one can easily ascertain when 
the Queen is at Balmoral. Previous to the purchase 
of Balmoral by Prince Albert a rough path led along 
the North-West side of Loch Muick, but the ancient 
track — which may still be traced in several places — 
was much improved upon by the Queen. It was by 
this old route that cattle were formerly sent to graze 
on Lochnagar for a few weeks during summer. The 


Queen does not, like many landowners, threaten the 
pains of law for trespass, but boards bearing the words 
" Strictly Private " are exhibited at the starting points- 
on the roads which have been specially formed at Her 
Majesty's cost. A written permission must be: 
obtained before carriages may be driven beyond the 
entrance gate of Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge. 

The summit of Lochnagar may be ascended from 
the Dubh Loch, but there is no path. The route is 
by the main stream of the burn which flows into the 
Loch, and which, near its sources, is crossed by a well- 
defined path — the route from Loch Callater to Cac 
Carn Mor. 

The distance from Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge to the 
lower end of Loch Muick is about a mile. The Loch 
lies at an altitude above sea level of 1310 feet, and is- 
fully two miles in length, by about half-a-mile in 
breadth, covering an area of 960 acres, with a depth 
in many places of over 60 fathoms. The general 
direction of the Loch is South-West to North-East 
It has a small islet at the upper end, on which sea- 
gulls formerly bred. Cormorant, teal, and mallard 
have been shot over it, and the gosander has been 
repeatedly seen. Even the wild swan is not altogether 
unknown ; some twenty years ago one tarried a week 
in the vicinity and was spared by the keepers, but was 
shot when it went lower down the Mulct When on 
the banks of the Loch one is struck by its solitude 
and grandeur, so much is it e;nclosed by mountains. 
Still the Loch is by no means dreary, for its banks are 
sufficiently fringed with trees to lighten up the cheer- 
less and glooijiy aspect which often characterises sheets 
of water in the Highlands, when th^y are so grasped 


around by hills as Loch Muick is. The mountain 
ridge on its South-East side culminates in Black Hill, 
which attains a height of 2470 feet. At the bottom of 
this hill is a capital path along the Loch side from Spital 
of Muick to the head of the Loch. This path pro- 
ceeds in such a well-defined straight line that it detracts 
somewhat from the picturesque appearance of the 
Loch when viewed from its left bank. The track, 
which was recently made, is a continuation of the 
driving road on that side of the glen, which, as a 
public road, ends at Spital of Muick. It is, however, 
continued on for nearly a mile to Lochend, at the 
lower end of the Loch. Here there is an insignificant 
shooting-box, with a boat-house, and here the foot-path 
just mentioned begins. Fully half-way up the Loch 
this path crosses the Black Burn which enters the 
Loch at a sandy beach, the only spot on that side 
which is free of boulders. Between it and the head of 
the Loch the hilly ground is known as the Fir Roads, 
from the fact that at one time the natives of Clova 
were in the habit of coming here for trees for roofing 
purposes. Concerning the nature of the ground on 
this side, it is interesting to refer to the Rev, Thomas 
Grierson, author of Autumnal Rambles among the 
Scottish Mountains (1851), who says that "there is not 
the slightest vestige of its ever having been trod by a 
human foot"; and that the edge of the Loch would 
not " admit of anything like safe progress, however 
slow". The mountain, he says, is " so abrupt to the 
very brink of the Lake that the large loose stones are 
often dislodged, thus endangering the limbs and life 
of the pedestrian". The result of Mr. Grierson's 
wanderings in this vicinity (he had been taking a 


glimpse of the Dubh Loch), was a night in the open 
air, and as, doubtless, many mountaineers are doomed 
to such experiences in the course of their explorations, 
let us see how the reverend gentleman passed the 
night. ** After collecting some heath and spreaiding 
it on the sheltered side of a rock, I composed myself 
for rest, having put on dry shoes and stockings, and 
made myself as comfortable as circumstances would 
admit. I confess I felt not a little dreary at first, 
especially as .1 had neither meat nor drink of any 
description in my fishing basket. Most fortunately, I 
had a thick short greatcoat, which I had worn all day, 
much to my annoyance, but which was now my chief 
comfort Fagging on under this had caused a profuse 
perspiration, so that, as soon as I had . relaxed my 
labours, I became as cold as if I had been cased in 
ice. Gradually, however, I grew tolerably warm, and 
passed seven hours and a-half far more agreeably than 
I had reason to expect. Though without foody I could 
yet ruminate^ and I even enjoyed some refreshing sleep. 
The noise of numerous cascades from the sides of 
Lochnagar, directly opposite, servedas an agreeable 
lullaby, forcibly reminding me of the graphic, admir- 
able description of our great national bard — 

* Foamin' strong, wi* hasty stens, 
* Fraelin tolin.' 

When day dawned,. I was not a little astonished to 
see the upper half of Lochnagar white with snow, 
which had descended on me in slight showers of rain". 
In the morning our belated brother-mountaineer duly . 
reached Spital, where "the porridge-pot was soon 
suspended over a splendid peat fire, both of which 


I was right glad to superintend after my recent fast 
and bivouac ". The inn, however, which was expected 
to be found here, had been shut for several years. 

Loch Muick is a favourite spot of the Queen's^ 
and is frequently referred to in her Leaves from thr 
Journal of our Life in the Highlands, In writing of a 
row up the Loch the Queen says : — " Here we found a 
large boat, into which we all got .... They 
rowed up to the head of the Loch, to where the Muick 
runs down out of the Dubh Loch .... The 
scenery is beautiful here, so wild and grand — real 
severe Highland scenery, with trees in the hollow. 
We had various scrambles in and out of the boat and 
along the shore, and saw three hawks, and caught 
seventy trout I wish an artist could have been there 
to sketch the scene ; it was so picturesque — the boat, 
the net, and the people in their kilts in the water and 
on the shore". In another chapter the Queen says of 
the South-East side of the Loch that it " is very fine 
indeed, and deeply furrowed by the torrents, which 
form glens and corries where birch and alder trees 
grow close to the water's edge. We landed on a. 
sandy spot below a fine glen, through which flows the 
Black Burn. It was very dry here ; but still very 
picturesque, with alder-trees and mountain-ash in full 
fruit overhanging it. The moon rose, and was 
beautifully reflected on the Lake, which, with its 
steep green hills, looked lovely. To add to the 
beauty, poetry, and wildness of the scene, Coutts 
played in the boat ; the men, who row very quickly 
and well now, giving an occasional shout when he 
played a reel. It reminded me of Sir Walter Scott's- 
lines in The Lady of the Lake : — 


* Ever, as on they bore, more loud 
And louder rung the pibroch proud. 
At first the sound, by distance tame, 
Mellow'd along the waters came. 
And, lingering long by cape and bay, 
Wail'd every harsher note away '. 

We were home at a little past seven [having left 
AUtnaguibhsaich Lodge at half-past four], and it was 
so still and pretty as we entered the wood, and saw 
the light flickering from our humble little abode 
[AUtnaguibhsaich Lodge] ". 

In the walk along the side of Loch Muick, Alltan 
Dearg (little red burn) is crossed. It is a pretty little 
stream rising on An t-Sron and the Monelpie Moss 
(jagged moss) and falls into the Loch about a mile from 
the point at which the river Muick runs out of it. An 
t-Sron (the nose) is the culminating point of the steep 
ridge on the left bank of the Loch, and attains an 
altitude of 2326 feet. The Alltan Dearg derives its 
name from the red granite through which it has cut its 
way down the face of the mountain. The cleft thus 
formed in the rock is very deep and extensive, quite 
beyond, one would think, the power of such a stream- 
let The cutting becomes very conspicuous as one 
proceeds along the Loch side, and in its deepest recess 
is a pretty waterfall which was formerly much visited 
by the Queen, but the pony path leading up to it is 
now neglected and overgrown. The "Braes of 
Glasallt ", as the South-Western ridge of An t-Sron is 
sometimes called, are immediately to the South-West 
of Alltan Dearg. Writing in 1852 Her Majesty says : — 
" We arrived at the Alltan Dearg, a small bum and 
fall, which is very fine and rapid. Up this a winding 


path has been made, upon which we rode; though 
some parts are rather steep for riding. The bum falls 
over red granite; and in the ravine grow birch, 
mountain-ash, and alder''. 

The Glasallt Shiel stands near the upper end of 
Loch Muick, on the right bank of the Glas Allt (grey 
bum) at its confluence with the Loch. This Shiel is 
the most remote of Her Majesty's Lochnagar residences, 
and, while unpretentious, is a very neat — it may be 
said pretty — building of two stories, now surrounded 
by firs, planted mostly since the Shiel was built. It 
would be difficult to find a house with a more pleasant, 
and, at the same time, retired situation; it is quite 
unique of its kind. Above the front door, which faces 
the Loch, is the inscription : — 

What might be taken for an old horse-shoe is affixed 
to the door of one of the outhouses ; but it is under- 
stood that this token of good luck fell from one of the 
mules that rendered service in the Egyptian campaign. 
Several of these animals were purchased by Her 
Majesty after the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, and a few of 
them were taken to Balmoral and used as deer ponies 
on Lochnagar. Two or three steps from the door of 
the Shiel is a miniature harbour for a boat to row over 
the Loch. So genial is summer here that, in a bit of 
garden ground behind the Shiel, potato " shaws " have 
in recent years attained a height of six feet, while in 
the vicinity heather may be found growing to a height 
of six feet six inches, and " dockens " to no less than 
seven feet ! This is the sunny side of the picture at 


the Glasallt Shiel ; but what about it in winter ? Then 
pebbles larger than pigeons' eggs are blown over the top 
of the house, and the ice on the Loch has measured 
twenty-one inches in thickness even in March ! The 
front windows of the house occasionally come to grief 
from wind and stones. The Shiel almost occupies the 
site of an old shooting-box of the Gordons of Aber- 
geldie, and at the back of it may still be traced the 
foundations of a shepherd's hut which had existed in 
the olden time. The Prince Consort had long wished 
to build a "Shiel" at the Glas Allt, this neighbour- 
hood having been a great favourite of his ; so after 
his death the Queen erected the present building. 
The "house warming " was on ist October, 1868, and, 
in describing it, Her Majesty tells that she felt it 
essential to have a new house in the district, as she 
could not have lived alone at Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, 
where she had spent so many happy days with the 

The Glas Allt rises almost at the very summit of 
Lochnagar, less than half-a-mile to the South of Cac 
Carn Mor. The burn has two head streams, the space 
between which is known as the " Tongue of the Glas 
Allt" — a name precisely descriptive of the rounded 
ridge indicated. The larger of the two head streams 
runs through Coire an Daimh Mhoile (corrie of the 
" hummel " stags). This corrie was so named at the 
desire of the Prince Consort, who here shot two stags 
without horns. About half-a-mile above the junction 
of the Glas Allt with Loch Muick the burn has a very 
fine waterfall over granite rocks, known as the Falls of 
the Glas Allt, which are well worthy of a visit. They 
are about 150 feet in height, and are situated within 


a little rocky corrie which forms about three-fourths of 
a circle. The rock is reddish in some parts, but 
" glas " (grey or dun) is a correct description of the 
prevailing colour. Within the corrie is nothing but 
rock and grass, and not much of the latter. A pony 
path, very steep and very zig-zag, leads up to the Falls 
from the Shiel. The Queen thus writes of the 
scene: — "We walked on [from AUtan Dearg] until 
we reached the higher part of the Glas Allt, which we 
stepped across. . . . Then we began the descent 
of the Glas Allt . . . From here it is quite 
beautiful, so wild and grand. The Falls are equal to 
those of the Bruar at Blair, and are 150 feet in height,, 
the whole height to the foot of the Loch being 500 
feet [The latter height has now been ascertained to 
be about 660 feet] It looked very picturesque to see 
the ponies and Highlanders winding along. We came 
down to the Shiel of the Glasallt, lately built, where 
there is a charming room for us, commanding a most 
lovely view". The path from Balmoral Castle to 
Glasallt Shiel, by Glen Gelder and Monelpie Moss, 
crosses the Glas Allt just above the Falls. 

Creag na Sithinn (the craig of fairy knolls) which 
attains a height of 2312 feet, is a short distance to the 
South-West of the Falls of the Glas Allt, and is well 
worth ascending from them. From the summit a 
capital view may be obtained, especially of Loch 
Muick, which seems to lie at one's feet. Creag na 
Sithinn is surmounted by a " watcher's " shelter, but 
the elements have been too much for the roo£ Nearly 
a mile to the West of Creag na Sithinn is a small 
lochlet, named Lochan Buidhe, about 300 yards by 
70 in extent It is thoroughly embosomed among 


mountains — one could scarcely fancy a more retired 
position for a sheet of water. AUt an Lochan Buidhe, 
which rises between Creag a' Ghlas-uillt (the craig of 
the Glas Allt) and Creag an Dubh-Loch (the craig of 
the dark loch), flows through it, entering the Lochan 
at a point almost mid-way in its length, and leaves 
exactly opposite the entrance, thus using the sides 
instead of the ends as is generally the case. The 
inlet is smooth and rocky; the outlet is not unlike 
that of Loch Etchachan on Ben Muich Dbui, both hav- 
ing a tiny lochlet. Below, the channel of the burn is 
quite rocky, but smooth, often glistening in the 
summer sun. At the East end of the Lochan there is 
a little beach of silvery sand. It abounds with trout 
larger even than those in Loch Muick, from which it 
was stocked in 1856 with two dozen. The remains 
of an old shooting hut of the Gordons of Abergeldie 
may still be traced below the Lochan. 

The pony path from the Glasallt Shiel keeps by 
the left bank of the Muick — here known by the name 
of Allt an Dubh Loch. From the Glasallt Shiel to 
the Dubh Loch the distance is about two miles, and 
the scenery is almost as magnificent as any in the 
Highlands. The mountains, composed of granite, on 
both sides of the burn which guides the way, are alike 
high and steep, and have a very graceful outline, while 
a few trees beautify the banks of the stream. About 
half-way between the Glasallt Shiel and the Dubh 
Loch, a tributary (the Allt an Lochan Buidhe) of the 
Allt an Dubh Loch is crossed, having a particularly 
fine waterfall known as the " Stullan". The bottom 
of this waterfall is close to the edge of the path, while 
near the junction of the burn with Allt an Dubh Loch 


are the ruins of the farthest up smuggling bothy in Glen 
Muick. A small cairn will attract attention as soon as 
the tourist has crossed the Allt an Lochan Buidhe at 
the bottom of the "Stullan". It is understood to 
mark the spot where the Marquis of Lome proposed 
to the Princess Louise on the 3rd October, 1870. It 
so happened that the Queen was at Pannanich Wells 
that day ! 

The Dubh Loch is described by the Queen, on 
her first visit to it in September, 1849, as " very wild ; 
the hills, which are very rocky and precipitous, rising 
perpendicularly from it ". In its grandeur and remote- 
ness it will satisfy even the most exacting moun- 
taineer. It is nearly three-quarters of a mile in length, 
with an area of 60 acres, and is 2091 feet above sea 
level. Broad Cairn (3268 feet) and Cairn Bannoch 
(3314 feet), the latter with a distinctive peaked top, 
overlook the Loch on the South and South-West. 
These two mountains have stupendous granite preci- 
pices (Creag an Dubh Loch) which overhang the 
water, and are the grandest on Lochnagar. Their 
perpendicular height where highest is 800 feet, giving 
the head of the Dubh Loch a resemblance, in a 
measure, to the upper end of Loch Avon in the 
vicinity of the Shelter Stone. The rocks on the 
North-East side of the Loch do not approach the edge 
of the water so closely as the crags on the South-West, 
by which also they are surpassed in steepness. Both 
have the same name, Creag an Dubh Loch ; but 
those on the North-East side are distinguished by 
having Creag na h-Iolaire (the eagle's craig) as the 
name of their highest point. Eagles had formerly 
their eyries there, but it is long since they ceased to 


frequent these rocks. A slender cataract-rill which 
falls over this craig has an almost perpendicular 
descent of about 200 feet. The name of this bum is 
the AUt a' Choire Bhoidheach (the bum t)f the beauti- 
ful corrie) ; it rises on the South side of the rocks 
above Lochan an Eoin. 

The Dubh Loch swarms with trout, of which 35 
were brought from Loch Muick in 1852. From having 


been left comparatively alone the size of the fish 
considerably exceeds the size of those in Loch Miiick ; 
and this is all the more remarkable as ice has been 
found on the Dubh Loch as late in the summer as the 
loth June. Stags when wounded frequently take 
shelter in water. On one occasion when a hunting 
party was out from Balmoral Castle, a wounded stag 


swam to the centre of the Dubh Loch. None of the 
company could swim except the Duke of Edinburgh, 
so the Prince went in and gave the stag the coup dc 
grace. Tlie* antlers now adorn the outside of the 
front door of AUtnaguibhsaich Lodge. While the 
hMvafram the Dubh Loch has a picturesque and 
romantic course over rocks and stones, the bum 
entering it has likewise a most interesting run. Just 
above the Loch it slides, rather than flows, over 
a great stretch of rock which gives it a peculiar 
appearance. Farther up it rushes through a little 
rocky gorge with here and there a small cascade. In 
its upper parts it is, however, not particularly interest- 
ing. Its parent head-stream is the Allt na Da Chraobh 

The best point from which to view the picturesque 
features on the left bank of Loch Muick is from a 
height of about 2100 feet on the South side opposite 
the Glasallt Shiel. From the path on the right bank 
of the Loch a track branches off a few yards west of 
the Black Burn and leads to Bachnagairn, and it is by 
this latter path that the view referred to is obtained. 
Here the broad level strath of the Muick, blocked up 
by the Coyles, is seen to advantage, with the winding 
river in the centre. The narrow gorge of the Alltan ' 
Dearg is also partly seen. But the view of the Glasallt 
Shiel, just at one's feet, with its romantic surroundings, 
is what will charm most. Indeed, no such view can be 
got from any other point. The Shiel appears to stand 
on a little green patch surrounded by trees and the 
Loch, and is built on a miniature delta formed by the 
bum. At the back of the Shiel the Glas Allt 
looks like a thread of silver from its precipitous 


descent, the &mous "Falls" themselves being also 
seen dropping perpendicularly. How charmingly do 
the " StuUan" Burn and the AUt an Dubh Loch send 
down their waters tumbling in headlong flight ! Lochan 
Buidhe is just seen in its little hollow, and a peep 
is obtained of the Dubh Loch ; behind is Lochnagar — 
below is Loch Muick. One could scarcely wish for a 
grander view of mingled Highland scenery. 

Bachnagaim is outside the scope of the present 
work, but as it has been so nearly approached a little 
information concerning it may be welcomed. It is a 
disused shooting-box on the right bank of the South 
Esk, fiilly a mile East of Loch Esk, on the property of 
Sir Allan Mackenzie. There is no house above it, 
and the nearest below is a keeper's dwelling over two 
miles down the river, near the commencement of the 
Capel Mounth in Forfarshire. The South Esk at 
Bachnagairn hurries along an exceedingly narrow 
defile clothed with larch trees. It is crossed there by 
a pony-bridge, on both sides of which there is a grand 
waterfall, the only drawback being that a proper 
view of both fells cannot be obtained at once. Con- 
cerning the South Esk here, a very short description, 
written so fer back as 1678 — when Highland scenery 
was not esteemed as it is now — will suffice: — "A 
stream which cannot so properly be said to flow as to 
precipitate itself from the highest cliff of a mountain 
for about one hundred fathoms ". 

I would fain advise the mountaineer who wishes to 
see the beauties of Lochnagar from a new direction to 
take the point of view just indicated, returning to 
Spital by Bachnagaim (crossing the South Esk by a 
foot-bridge about a mile below the Falls) and the Capel 


Mounth — ^the round can be made easily within six 
hours. If he has ascended Lochnagar once or twice 
the views obtained in this little circular tour will charm 
him — or her, for a more pleasant mountain excursion 
for ladies could not well be devised — ^and no regret 
will be felt that a long distance has been come without 
" doing " a mountain top. For I hold that the true 
mountaineer is not the man who boasts of the number 
of peaks he has placed to his credit ; the ideal hillman 
is one who thoroughly enjoys a day " on " the 
mountains — not hurrying and toiling up a Ben with the 
single purpose of rushing down again. 

BY W. A. Mackenzie. 

Up in the moonlight pale and dim 

The Dubh Loch's cliffs rose stark and grim ; 

The loch gloomed darkling far beneath. 

And weirdly strange lay height and heath ; 

Deep silence held the mighty hill, 

And all the wrestling winds were still ; 

The sky was bare save one lone star 

That crowned the crest of Lochnagar. 

Upon the black steep's topmost ken 

There stood a Stag, a Stag of ten, 

A lordly monarch of the wild 

That hunters never had beguiled. 

Such was the keenness of his sight 

And scent, so swift his lightning flight. 

So full of wile his quick resource. 

No man might stay his whirlwind course. 

From this his name was noised afar — 

The Spectre Stag of Lochnagar — 


Filled many a huntsman's heart with fire 
That flamed to the supreme desire 
To bring the noble beast to bay, 
And take his ten-tined head that day. 

Lord Ian was a huntsman keen 

As ever donned the Lincoln green, 

As ever led the chase at morn, 

Or cheerly blew the ringing horn. 

And countless trophies of his skill 

In venery by plain and hill 

Hung on the shield- and spear-sprent walls 

Of his war-won aacestral halls. 

Now when of this proud Stag he heard 

His huntsman's soul was strangely stirred. 

So at our holy Lady's shrine 

He knelt, and craved her Grace divine 

To lend the blessing of her eyes, 

And consummate his vowed emprize — 

To slay the Spectre Stag he swore, 

Or hunting horn wind nevermore. 

In yonder forest far away 
He roused the Stag at dawn of day, 
And following fast by tarn and rill. 
O'er grassy slope and heathered hill. 
All through the long autumnal heat. 
He tracked him with unwearied feet. 
Buoyed by elusive hope, till now 
The monarch halts upon the brow 
Of this rough crag, that stem doth loom 
Over the Dubh Loch's rock-girt gloom. 
Adown the proud beast's heaving side 
Trickles a tiny crimson tide. 
That shows where deep the arrow-head 
Has sought and found its living bed. 
With joy he snifls the cool night air, 
And dreams of his far forest lair, 
And recks not that with bated breath 
To deal the sudden stroke of death. 


With eager longing in his eye, 

While heart and hopes are pulsing high, 

The hunter steals. Aloft the knife 

Shimmers to drink the Stag's red life. 

But with a swerve like lightning's flash 

The Stag makes one impetuous dash. 

And from the sheer and fiaited steep 

He takes the last, long, flying leap ; 

A moment sways in dizzy air ; 

Then, with a cry of shrill despair 

Sinks swiftly to his lonely grave 

Beneath the Dubh Loch's wind-swept wave. 

The huntsman foiled, with frenzied eye. 

Glares wildly to the silent sky, 

And by some fatsdnation held 

Is to the shrinking brink compelled ; 

Nor slacks the chase, nor draws he breath. 

But onward still, till Huntsman Death 

O'ertakes him too. 

The vow he swore 
He kept ; his horn sounds nevermore. 

And to this hour, old shepherds say. 
When moon and star succeed to day, 
Is seen upon the Dubh Loch's scaur 
The Spectre Stag of Lochnagar. 


CHAPTER II.— (Concluded.) 


4. AlHnaguibhsaich Lodge to Cac Cam Beag. 

Hail, Lochnagar ; thy precipices hail ; 

Thy deep ravines ; thy glittering wreaths of snow ! 
Thy forehead shrouded in a misty veil, 

Or darkly shadowed in the lake below. 

ALLTNAGUIBHSAICH Lodge may be described 
as the key to Lochnagar from the East (the Ballater) 
side. The route passes the back of the Lodge by a 
path which branches off the approach just within the 
entrance gate. The stable and coach-house are with- 
in this gate, and it is at the West-end of these build- 
ings that the path commences. Passing in rear of 
the Lodge, it comes out between the Keeper's house 
(a continuation of the Lodge) and a small building 
known as the Chillies' Hall. A few yards ahead there 
is a little wooden gate in the deer fence; that gate 
passed through the mountain path begins. A finger- 
post at the entrance gate, and another at the deer fence, 
would prevent any chance of a stranger blundering, 
and the public would be saved from thoughtlessly or 
inadvertently passing the front of the Lodge, when 
occupied by visitors. Of course, for persons who 
will flatten their noses against window panes, the 
better to examine a private house, finger-posts would 
be superfluous. The path from the Lodge to the 
summit of Lochnagar was made by the Queen's 



directions in 1849, Partly for Her Majesty's own use, 
and partly also to keep the public from unduly 
wandering in the Royal deer forests of Balmoral and 
the White Mounth. So early as 1850, Her Majesty 
had earned the reputation of having " the good taste 
to delight in mountaineering ". 

The path at first trends to the right, crossing the 
Allt na Guibhsaich a little above the Lodge. Two 
miles or so West of the Lodge a watershed is reached, 
where, on the right, the Gelder Burn has its principal 
source, and, on the left, is one of the head streams of 
the Allt na Guibhsaich. Here a path is crossed 
leading, on the right, to Balmoral Castle by Glen 
Gelder, and, on the left, to the Glasallt Shiel by the 
Moss of Monelpie and the Falls of the Glasallt After 
crossing the watershed the climber will find that the 
track becomes considerably rougher, and the ascent 
may now be said to begin in earnest. Before him — at 
some little distance — is " the Ladder", which leads to 
the top of the ridge of Cuidhe Crom, and from it the 
path, after slightly dipping by the edge of the corrie of 
" Lochnagar ", leads onward and upward to Cac Cam 
Mor. A quarter of a mile Northwards from this peak, 
with first a very slight dip and then a slight rise, 
Cac Carn Beag is reached. 

Every mountaineer, on arranging to visit Lochna- 
gar for the first time, is pretty sure to ask the question 
— How long does it require to reach the top of the 
mountain from Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, and to return 
to the same point ? It is, of course, quite impossible 
to reply in an off-hand manner ; the question must be 
answered with a certain knowledge of the staying 
powers of the particular individual. Speaking in gene- 


ral terms, a fair mountaineer should reach the summit 
in two hours — it has to the writer's knowledge been 
done in half an hour less — and the descent should be 
made in about an hour and twenty minutes. But for 
ordinary pedestrians the writer quite agrees with Mr. 
Grierson, the doyen of mountaineers in the middle of 
the present century — than whom there could be no 
better authority — ^who says: — " The ascent and descent, 
including half an hour at the summit, cannot be com- 
fortably accomplished under five or six hours — starting 
from or near the Hut". Of the four and a half miles 
which the pedestrian has to climb, mostly in a due West 
direction, the first and easiest half of the way lies 
between the Hut and the base of the Meikle Pap, the 
mean gradient for the whole distance being only about 
I in 7. 

Having thus briefly indicated the final section of 
the route from Ballater to Lochnagar, it may be ad- 
vantageous to describe a little more fully what may be 
properly enough termed the Queen's path from AUt- 
naguibhsaich Lodge to the summit of the mountain. 
The bridge crossing the Allt na Guibhsaich, a short 
distance above the Lodge, is known as Littlejohn's 
Bridge, from the name of the builder. The remains 
of several shielings may be seen near by, telling of 
the time when the natives of Glen Muick summered 
their cattle on the pastures by the higher burns along 
the glen. Marks of the foundations of a smuggling 
bothy may be seen immediately above the bridge. 
This is believed to have been the highest situated 
" black" bothy on the Allt na Guibhsaich. Beyond 
Littlejohn's Bridge the path lies on the Southern 
shoulder of Conachcraig. This name most probably 


signifies Kenneth's Craig, but it may also mean the 
dogs' or the stormy craig. Granite millstones would 
appear to have been at one time quarried on it, as 
several half-finished stones are still lying on the slope. 
A few yards above the bridge, at a height of about 
1680 feet, there is a big stone on the right bank of the 
burn, near which, on looking backwards towards the 
East, Mount Keen just begins to appear behind the hills 
on the right bank of the Muick. A few yards farther 
on, the cone will be plainly recognisable. The view 
now deserves particular attention, as an altitude has 
been reached that affords a fair prospect. Looking 
back, the tree-girt Lodge is visible ; the Allt Darrarie 
in its deep, narrow glen is seen joining the Muick at 
Spital ; and the great hollow containing Loch Muick 
forces itself upon the eye. Looking forward and up- 
wards there is the peaked Little Pap and the more 
massive but less picturesque Cuidhe Crom. The 
region of trees, save for a straggler here and there by 
the bumside, has been left behind. The mountaineer 
will scarcely have ascended another hundred feet above 
sea level when Meikle Pap, on the right of Cuidhe 
Crom, will come into view, as well as the crags of 
Lochnagar itself. On the extreme right of Cuidhe 
Crom the zig-zag path, "the Ladder", may be picked 

About a mile-and-a-quarter above the Lodge a 
suitable place may be observed for a short halt. This is 
at " Cameron's Well", on the right of the path, the deep 
narrow hollow in which flows the Allt na Guibhsaich 
being on the left. From this point the peculiarly cut 
rocky top of the Meikle Pap will show itself; beyond 
it "the steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar" 


begin to inspire the tourist on his maiden ascent of 
Byron's mountain. Little of the crags will be seen from 
this point, but quite sufficient to arouse one's curiosity 
and expectation. The gorge of the burn is known as 
Clashrathan, a word which signifies the hollow of the 
roads, there being numerous deer tracks or roads along 
the stream. Behind, the brown and green hills at the 
head of Loch Muick will attract attention, as well as a 
little bit of the glen at Spital, and Mount Keen, now 
fully in view in the East in all his conical dignity. 

A few hundred yards farther onward, at a height of 
about 2180 feet, one of the principal summits of the 
Cairngorm mountains comes into view — Ben Avon 
with his rocky pinnacles. These pinnacles are visible 
from great distances — particularly from the Blue Hill 
in Banchory-Devenick, a distance of about 48 miles — 
and they enable one readily to pick out the giant 
mountain which derives its name from the river Avon. 

" Clashrathan's Cairn" at the watershed of the 
Gelder marks the point for a divergence in the route 
to the summit, at the crossing of the path which leads 
from Balmoral Castle to the Glasallt Shiel. Looking 
Northward from this cairn, Ben Avon comes better 
into view, as well as one of his spurs, Meall na 
Gaineimh, which almost overhangs Inchrory Lodge. 
Culardoch, a mountain on the South side of the Gairn, 
is also now very prominent. To the right is Conach- 
craig, sloping down on the East side of the Gelder to 
Balmoral Castle. 

Having reached the head of Gelder Bum, the 
Glen Gelder route to the summit of Lochnagar may be 
briefly referred to. It is the most direct route from 
Easter Balmoral and the neighbourhood of Balmoral 


Castle, and joins the AUtnaguibhsaich Lodge path at 
the watershead of the Gelder and the head stream of 
the Allt na Guibhsaich just mentioned. There is no 
difficulty in following it ; but it must be kept in mind 
that it is not always open to the public, and care 
should therefore be taken to make the necessary 
inquiries before proceeding by that route. It mostly 
suits only the inhabitants in the district of Crathie. 
Her Majesty has a small " Shiel " in this glen some 
three miles from the watershed, known as the Glen 
Gelder Shiel, or Ruidh na Bhan Righ (the Queen's 
Shiel), concerning a visit to which, with the Empress 
Eugenie in 1879, Her Majesty thus writes: — "The 
Empress was pleased with the little Shiel, which con- 
tains only two small rooms and a little kitchen. It 
stands in a very wild, solitary spot, looking up to 
Lochnagar, which towers up immediately above the 
house .... We walked along the footpath above the 
Gelder for a mile and a half, the dogs, which had 
come up, following us, and the Empress talked a great 
deal, and most pleasantly, about former times. When 
we came back to the little Shiel, after walking for an 
hour, we had tea. Brown had caught some excellent 
trout and cooked them with oatmeal, which the dear 
Empress liked extremely, and said would be her dinner. 
It was a glorious evening — the hills pink, and the sky 
so clear". 

Another " minor " route converges at the head of 
Glen Gelder — that, namely, by Strath Girnock from 
the North-East. This route may best be entered near 
the mouth of the Strath, about two miles West of 
Knock Castle. The head of the Strath reached. Glen 
Gelder will be entered, between Conachcraig and 


Little Conachcraig (1841 feet). It is, however, of 
little public convenience, and the Strath is now very 
sparsely inhabited Formerly it was particularly noted 
for smuggling, no fewer than a dozen or so of " black 
bothies" being at one time in operation in the upper 
part of the little glen. There is yet living a native of 
the district who can recollect of a line of thirty horses 
starting from Strath Gimock, loaded with smuggled 
whisky, en route for the South by Capel Mounth. A 
road, already referred to, crosses the Gimock, about a 
mile-and-a-half below its source, leading Northwards to 
the Dee at Easter Balmoral, and Southwards to the 
Muick at Inschnabobart. 

Returning again to the main route to Cac Carn 
Beag at the head of Glen Gelder, the mountaineer 
will pass on his right the ruins of what was formerly a 
little " box " of the Queen's. It had a stable attached 
for ponies, but was demolished in 1867. Tourists 
occasionally abused it, and the Glen Gelder Shiel 
was consequently built, in a less exposed position. 
The corrie to the North of the ruins, at the foot of the 
Meikle Pap, is called Coire na Ciche (the corrie of the 
pap), and shows pretty conclusively that Meikle Pap 
is but a translation from the Gaelic "Ciche Mhor". 
The Prince Consort shot his last stag on Meikle Pap, 
and a small cairn (on the North-East side from the 
mountain path) was raised to mark the spot. A small 
tarn, known as Lochan Dubh, in Coire na Ciche, is 
the source of one of the head streams of the Gelder 
Burn, the principal one issuing from the Loch of 
Lochnagar on the West side of Meikle Pap. 

About half way between Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge 
and Cac Carn Beag another " Well " will be passed on 


the left It is known as the Fox Cairn Well, and it 
may be interesting to mention that the natural mass of 
big granite stones, so called, derived its name from a 
fox that was killed there in 1840. This particular 
wily reynard was an old grey animal which was almost 
toothless, but had played such havoc among a certain 
sheep-farmer's flocks, that his loss was competently 
estimated at no less a sum than ;;^ioo. This statement 
may appear somewhat extreme, but it has to be recol- 
lected that the whole district suffered exceedingly at one 
time from the depredations of foxes and other vermin. 
It is on record that previous to 1776 the destruction of 
sheep by vermin was so great in the parishes of Brae- 
mar, Crathie, Glenmuick, TuUich and Glengaim, that 
the loss was estimated as nearly equal to half the rent 
paid to the proprietors. To prevent this loss the land- 
owners in 1776 entered into an agreement, whereby 
premiums were offered for the destruction of the 
vermin, and these were paid for ten years. During 
that period, 634 foxes, 44 wild cats, 57 pole-cats, 70 
eagles, 2520 hawks and kites, and 1347 ravens and 
hooded crows were killed at a cost of about forty 
guineas a year When the proprietors, grudging the 
expense, dropped the agreement, the vermin once 
more gained ground, and sheep suffered correspond- 
ingly. Fox-hunting was an occupation then, and one 
of the famous hunters of the district, Samuel Copland, 
was known to have killed over 700 foxes in a period 
of about eleven years. These facts will indicate how 
the recesses of Lochnagar were inhabited over a 
hundred years ago. 

The water from the Fox Cairn Well finds its way 
below the stones to the Gelder, but certainly to the 


casual observer it has rather the appearance of making 
its way to the Allt na Guibhsaich. Several cairns, 
which may still be observed in the neighbourhood, 
pointed the route to the summit before the Queen's 
path was formed. A halt had better be made by the 
Well, for this is the last opportunity of drinking spring 
water till the summit is reached, and it has to be borne 
in mind that "the Ladder" — the only really steep 
part of the ascent — is just ahead. This expression, 
" the Ladder", is by no means peculiar to Lochnagar ; 
mention need only be made of " the Ladder " on 
Donside, and "the Ladder" on the South side of 
Mount Keen. 

When the foot of " the Ladder " has been reached, 
the list of mountains visible will include the well- 
known Morven, and the still more famous Bennachie, 
although the latter is of considerably lower elevation. 
Before tackling "the Ladder^', the tourist will have 
observed that the track has materially deteriorated 
from what it was below Clashrathan's Cairn. It is 
now distinguished by narrow ruts, wide apart, not un- 
like wheel marks, the better to enable one to keep the 
track should mist overtake the unwary mountaineer. 
Having surmounted " the Ladder " and landed on the 
ridge of Cuidhe Crom (the crooked or bent [snow] 
wreath), the traveller may well take another halt, and 
make a few yards' diversion from the path, the better to 
see the great corrie of Lochnagar, with the loch lying 
so serenely at a height of nearly 2600 feet, almost en- 
circled by mighty precipices. These are " the steep 
frowning glories of dark Lochnagar" ; and when the 
mountaineer is brought fairly face to face with them, 
he is not likely to be disappointed with the realisation 


of the expectations raised by the peeps obtained of the 
broken line of their crest as he ascended Above, and 
a little beyond the top of the crags on the West side 
of the loch, he will have no difficulty in recognising 
the goal of his journey, the Cac Carn Beag. But 
before he can arrive at that well-defined peak, the 
corrie in which the loch is set has to be rounded, and 
in rounding it Cac Cam Mor will first be reached. 
At the latter terminates, in an upward direction, the 
mountain path, and five minutes' walk will now take 
the climber to Cac Carn Beag, the summit of Loch- 
nagar ; and the peak so prominent from innumerable 
points will at last be surmounted. 



I, Ballater to Craihie, 

Bonnie lassie, will ye go 
To the Birks o' AbergelJie ? 

THE route between Ballater and Braemar is perhaps 
the finest in Aberdeenshire — certainly in the summer 
and autumn months it is more frequented than any 
other similar length of road (about i6| miles) in the 
county. What more concerns the Lochnagar tourist, 
who proposes to make Braemar the base for the ascent, 
is the fact that from the road the mountain is very 
well seen for several miles. From Ballater it is par- 
ticularly prominent, the picturesque contour and the 
magnificent conies of the White Mounth constantly 
compelling the admiration of the traveller as he pro- 
ceeds along the North side of the Dee. 

Until the purchase of the estate of Balmoral by 
Prince Albert, there was a public road on both banks of 
the river between Ballater and Braemar. As, however, 
the South road ran through the estate and past the 
Castle, an arrangement was made with the Road 
Trustees, acting on behalf of the public, for having 
that road shut up from the point where it reached the 
entrance to the Balmoral grounds, about eight miles 
from Ballater, to the West-end of the Ballochbuie 
Forest (now part of the Balmoral estate) at the Bridge 
of Dee. That arrangement included the building of a 


substantial bridge over the Dee, as well as the improve- 
ment and ^dening of the North road, these works 
being carried out at the Prince's expense. These con- 
siderations might not have prevented all opposition to 
the closing of some seven miles of a beautiful old 
highway, but it was plain that if an agreement to that 
effect was not concluded, the Queen could not con- 
tinue to live on Deeside if the privacy of her house 
and grounds were not to be assured. The arrangfe- 
ment was finally completed by a private Act of Parlia- 

The South road has already been noticed as far as 
Knock Castle. Abergeldie Castle is also on the South 
side of the Dee, and it, and other interesting points, 
will be taken in order as we proceed by the North 
road — which is the shorter and better of the two. 

A short distance from the railway station (on the 
left) stand the Barracks, erected to accommodate the 
Guard of Honour kept on Deeside while Her Majesty 
is resident at Balmoral. Seldom indeed are the soldiers 
near the Castle, and so far as there is any real "guarding" 
of the Queen during her stay on Deeside, the duty is 
entrusted to a very few men of the "A" Division of the 
Metropolitan Police Force, under an Inspector, who 
travels with the Royal train, and who may be observed 
taking post near Her Majesty's saloon when the train 
makes a brief halt at Ferryhill (Aberdeen) or other 
places on the journey. The sending of soldiers to 
Deeside was begun about twenty years ago. At first 
they were lodged with the villagers in Ballater, and in 
the summer and autumn they certainly did not get the 
best of the houses. Ever mindful of her soldiers, the 
Queen sent one of her physicians to see how they 


lived in Ballater, and the report he gave of their en- 
forced sleeping places is stated to have led to the 
building of the Barracks. The style of the structure is 
not considered to be in keeping with the locality, and 
a story was told to the effect that the plans used for 
Ballater were really intended for a cantonment in India, 
while India had sent to it the plans drawn for Deeside I 

Craigendarroch (the hill of the oaks) rises to a 
height of about 1300 feet to the right of the road, and 
the ascent along its base is rather stiff for a turnpike. 
It is understood that, but for trouble being feared from 
landslips, the road would have been constructed nearer 
the river, and the gradient would then have been very 
easy. After the highest point is reached there is a fall to 
the Bridge of Gairn. On the left side may be observed a 
short railway track. Power was asked from Parliament 
about 1864 to make a line to Braemar, but it was 
opposed by the Earl of Fife and the Balmoral Trustees, 
and legislative sanction was only granted to Bridge of 
Gairn, about a mile-and-a-half West from Ballater. 
Rails were laid down to that point, with the intention 
that the track beyond Ballater should be used for 
timber and other goods traffic. The project proved 
unsuitable, and the rails were lifted two or three years 
ago. There is a deep narrow gorge on the North side 
of Craigendarroch known as the " Pass of Ballater ", 
along which the North turnpike ran before the village 
of Ballater was built. The old road {via the Pass) 
and the new {via Ballater) join about a quarter-of-a- 
mile East of the Bridge of Gairn. 

Near where the railway track eftds is the church- 
yard of Glengairn, with the ruins of the old Church. 
The ancient Church of Glengairn was dedicated to St. 


Mungo, and it is understood to have been a separate 
charge till about 1740. Curiously enough, however, 
neither the site of the old manse nor the glebe can 
now be pointed out. The Church and Manse of the 
quocid sacra parish of Glengaim are farther up the 
river Gairn, which is generally regarded as the largest 
tributary of the Dee. The bridge that carries the 
turnpike over the Gairn is close to the churchyard. 
The ruins of its predecessor are noticeable a few yards 
up the stream. 

About three-and-a-half-miles from Ballater is the snug 
little inn of Coillecriech. Almost opposite it (on the 
South side of the river) is the mouth of Strath Gimock 
(one of the " minor " routes to the summit of Lochna- 
gar), with its two guardian, pine-clothed hills. The inn 
is regarded as a very convenient halting point for men 
and horses. Looking backward from this point there 
is a capital view of Craigendarroch, with the deep cut 
of the Pass. South of the Dee rise the green-topped 
Coyles of Muick. Forward from Coillecriech there 
seems to be an amphitheatre surrounded by hills, all 
more or less rocky and picturesquely clad with heather, 
pine, and birch. 

A little below the forty-seventh milestone, on the 
right hand side of the road, on the West side of Easter 
Micras Burn, may still be seen indications of the site 
of the old Roman Catholic Chapel of Micras. The 
site can be readily found by a standing stone that is 
placed at its West end — a stone which is believed to 
have formed part of a Druidical circle long before the 
introduction of Christianity into Upper Deeside by 
St. Nathalan. The Chapel stood at the base of 
Geallaig (the white mountain), which, rising to a height 


of 2170 feet above sea level, is the most prominent 
hill close to the North side of the turnpike between 
Ballater and Crathie. The old Chapel supplied 
religious services for the residents in the two hamlets 
of Easter and Wester Micras, on the North side of the 
turnpike. For some occult reason Micras was not 
held in great esteem, and was generally referred to 
as " the village opposite Abergeldie ". A quarter of a 
century or so ago, it was a genuine specimen of a High- 
land clachan of the poorest type. 

Six miles from Ballater (within a hupdred and fifty 
yards of the 48th milestone), the tourist will find him- 
self opposite the Castle of Abergeldie on the South 
side of the Dee. At one time, however, the Castle 
had been on the North side of the river ; marks of the 
old course are still traceable. The Castle is not im- 
posing, but is picturesquely situated on the right 
bank of the Geldie Burn. It was formerly the pro- 
perty of the Mowat family, but now belongs to Mr. 
Hugh Mackay Gordon. "The Birks o' Abergeldie " 
are celebrated in an old song which Burns transformed 
into the beautiful lyric, "The Birks o' Aberfeldy". 
The Castle and lands are held in lease by the Queen, 
and it is understood that all overtures for their pur- 
chase have been declined. Abergeldie estate is con- 
tiguous to that of Balmoral, and the two would make 
a very compact property, especially when it is con- 
sidered that Birkhall, also belonging to the Queen, lies 
next to Abergeldie on the East, and near to the Bal- 
moral Forest at its South-Eastern boundary. Her 
Majesty's mother, the Duchess of Kent, occupied 
Abergeldie Castle for many years as an autumn resi- 
dence, and in more recent times it has been tenanted 


by the Prince and Princess of Wales. Now it is re- 
tained by the Queen for distinguished visitors, and the 
Empress Eugenie has on more than one occasion 
lived in it during the autumn months. The front of 
the Gastle faces the South road, and at the edge of the 
road opposite the Castle there is an uninscribed 
standing stone, some six feet in height. Communica- 
tion between the Castle and the North side of the 
Dee was formerly maintained by means of a " cradle", 
running on a rope suspended from posts at each side 
of the river. About 150 years ago an exciseman 
named Bruce, anxious to get at some smugglers he 
believed to be at Clachantum, lost his life by the 
accidental breaking of the rope when the Dee was in 
flood. This was followed by a more memorable and 
— naturally — more lamented occurrence, the death of 
a recently married couple, Peter Frankie, the game- 
keeper at the "Hut", and Barbara Brown, while 
crossing by the " cradle". The cause of this " accident " 
remained a mystery, but it was attributed by some to 
the malignancy of a disappointed suitor of" Babby's ". 
In 1885 a handsome suspension foot-bridge was erected 
over the Dee to give access to the Castle. A remark 
made by the Rev. Dr. George Skene Keith, in his 
Agricultural Survey of Aberdeenshire^ should interest 
visitors to Upper Deeside, if not the Lochnagar 
mountaineer. When the worthy divine was at Aber- 
geldie, in 18 10, it was in the occupation of Captain 
and Mrs. Gordon, and the Doctor wrote that their 
" excellent birch wine appeared to me superior to the 
finest champagne ". Birch trees are probably as nu- 
merous as ever in the locality, but the making of wine 
from them is a lost art. 













Craig nam Ban (the women's craig — 1 7 30 feet) slopes 
on the South-East to Abergeldie Castle. On the summit 
may still be seen the mark of the hollow where a stake 
was fixed to which witches were bound on being burned. 
There is also a ring in a vault in the Castle where they, 
and other " criminals", were chained up during their 

Within a mile of Abergeldie Castle, to the South, 
on the left bank of the Geldie Burn, may be seen the 
site of St. Columba's Chapel, with a small burial- 
ground, fringed with trees, around it. The walls of 
the Church are completely gone, and no tombstones 
are to be seen ; indeed, the casual observer would pass 
by without distinguishing the site. The field in which 
the Church stood is, however, still known as Chapel 
Park. The last burial is said to have taken place 
about 150 years ago, and was that of a soldier, known, 
from the colour of his facings, as the " Blue Drum- 
mer". About the same time the Abergeldie tenants 
reipoved, for building purposes, part of the walls of the 
Church and the surrounding dyke. This act of vand- 
alism was accomplished before means could be taken 
at the Castle to save the ruins of the holy edifice, but 
it is believed that the present dyke was erected, and 
the trees planted, by order of the wife of the then 

Like the other lands on Upper Deeside, Abergeldie 
originally formed part of the Earldom of Mar. About 
the year 1507 the Crown, as coming in place of the 
old Earls of Mar, laid claim to Abergeldie, but the 
Privy Council found that these lands were " distinct 
landes fra the Erledome of Marr ". In the beginning 
of the sixteenth century Sir Alexander Gordon of Mid- 


mar, a son of the Earl of Huntly, received a charter of 
the lands of Abergeldie and Estoun, and the property 
is still in the possession of the same branch of the 
Gordon family. 

The Church of Crathie is passed nearly eight miles 


from Ballater. It stands on the right hand side of the 
North road, and is a plain — almost barn-like — build- 
ing erected in 1805-6, but the Queen has enriched it 
with stained-glass windows in memory of the Rev. Dr. 
Norman Macleod. Till within the last three years 
Her Majesty worshipped regularly in this Church every 
Sunday during her stay at Balmoral, but latterly the 
behaviour of tourists from a distance compelled the 
Queen to cease attending regularly. In consequence 
Her Majesty has built a " worship room " in Balmoral 
Castle, where some distinguished minister of the Church 
of Scotland is invited to conduct the services. In the 
month of October, however, the Queen attends Crathie 
Church on the Sacrament Sabbath. 

CHAPTER lll.'-( Continued,) 

2, Crathie to Inver, 

On to the gentle Lady's halls 
Who wears old Scotland's crown. 

THE site of the old Church of Crathie is on the left 
side of the road, almost opposite the new building. 

In olden times the Church of Crathie belonged to 
the Abbey of Cambuskenneth. The ruins of the 
ancient structure, now clad with ivy, stand in the 
parish burial-ground nearly midway between the North 
Road and the Dee, and the manse is close beside them. 
They are on the right hand side of a road which leads 
from the North road to a suspension bridge for foot 
passengers over the river. This bridge superseded a 
ferry at Clachantum, fully half-a-mile farther down the 
river, and is about twelve feet in width. It is 
inscribed : — 


Crathie churchyard, thanks to the Queen, is very 
neatly kept, and, like the whole district, it bears 
evidence of Her Majesty's affectionate character and 
of her kindly remembrance of faithful service. A 
number of the gravestones are inscribed as having 
been raised by the Queen in memory of servants in 
the Royal household. Among these monuments the 


one that will attract most attention is the stone which 
marks the grave of John Brown. The family of which 
he was a member had belonged to the Parish for genera- 
tions, as is attested by stones erected in 1827 and 1859, 
as well as by a stone which Brown himself caused 
to be raised in memory of his parents and other rela- 
tions. The four " lairs " assigned to the Browns are 
now enclosed within a neat iron railing. The stone 
put up by the Queen is entirely in keeping with the 
one erected by Brown. Musicians will note with 
interest a stone inscribed to the memory of " William 
Blair, house carpenter and violinist, who died at Bel- 
nacroft, Abergeldie, Nov. 12, 1884, aged 90 years". 
Willie Blair, the Queen's fiddler (as he was long termed 
in familiar and kindly phrase), played at the festive 
gatherings held in the old and new ballrooms at Bal- 
moral Castle for more than thirty years ; and all over 
" the country side " his powers were known, and his 
fame was firmly established, a third of a century before 
Her Majesty had made a home for herself under the 
shadow of Lochnagar. 

The Free Church of Crathie is half-a-mile to the 
South of Crathie churchyard, on the opposite side of 
the river. Its pretty spire is seen rising through the trees 
when looked for from the road on the North side of 
the Dee. 

The Lochnagar Distillery stands a few yards West 
of the Free Church of Crathie, within a mile of Bal- 
moral Castle. One of the earliest of the " sma' still " 
whisky makers, of whom distinct record remains in the 
Lochnagar district, was " Strowan Robertson ". His 
death in 18 12 at the age of 52 is inscribed on a table- 
stone in the churchyard of Glenmuick, and it is there 


Stated that he was ''some time miller at Mill of 
Balmoral". Charles was his Christian name, and 
the patronymic "Strowan" was assigned him from 
the family property of the Robertsons (Dundonnachie) 
in AtholL In 1825 James Robertson of Crathie — 
an old smuggler — erected the first regular distillery 
on Upper Deeside. It stood near the site of 
the suspension bridge, and was an insignificant 
building covered with wood. About 1838 the 
distillery was removed to its present site. James 
Robertson was succeeded by the laird of Abergeldie 
himself, but he soon let it to one William Far- 
quharson. The latter transferred his interest to the 
firm of Begg & Buyers, and thereafter started another 
distillery at Balnacroft, Abergeldie, which was not long 
in use. The firm that succeeded Farquharson was by 
and by solely represented by the senior partner, on 
whose death the present occupant came into possession. 
The Distillery being on the Abergeldie estate the dis- 
tiller is a sub-tenant to the Queen. 

Balmoral Castle stands on the South side of the 
Dee, on a narrow strip of level ground, about equi- 
distant from Ballater and Braemar. The site has 
been found fault with, on account of its lowness and 
proximity to the river; otherwise one would be in- 
clined to say that the situation is perfection. Its sur- 
roundings are magnificent. The Castle is embosomed 
among birches, while pines rise above it on the slope 
of Lochnagar (which it faces), and at its base on the 
North side is the river Dee — its clear stream there 
rushing briskly along. The building, the site, and the 
surroundings are alike grand ; and no one who knows 
them will wonder why Her Majesty spends such a con- 


siderable portion of the year on Deeside. The Castle 
is in the Scottish Baronial style of architecture, but 
with several deviations and innovations, which tend to 
assure the greater comfort and accommodation of the 
residents. Thus the building partly displays the char- 
acteristics of an ancient stronghold and partly those of 
a modem residence. Prince Albert (it is understood) 
designed the main features of the Castle, and the plans 
were supplied by Mr. William Smith, who has held 
the appointment of City Architect of Aberdeen 
for a long period. The Castle consists of two blocks 
connected by wings ; a tower, which rises to the height 
of one hundred feet, is situated at the Eastern extremity. 
The building has an unusually bright appearance from 
being built of finely dressed granite of a light grey 
colour, obtained within a short distance. The granite 
is treated with a severe yet elegant simplicity and 
chasteness of design, with exquisiteness of workman- 
ship. One writer says if you wish to see it in all its 
splendour you must come in a clear moonlight night, 
when it stands out in white relief from the dark mass 
of the surrounding trees and the deep shadow of the 
neighbouring hills, and when the particles of mica 
which the stones contain sparkle like silver as the 
cold stones are kissed by the chill moonbeams. 
Many additions have been made to the Castle within 
the past 30 years, and now the whole buildings afford 
accommodation for about 120 persons. The furnish- 
ings are plain, but in the finest taste. 

The estate of Balmoral formerly belonged to the 
Farquharsons of Inverey, a branch of the Invercauld 
Farquharsons, from whom it was acquired by the Earl 
of Fife. The Earl's trustees leased the property to the 


Right Hon. Sir Robert Gordon, brother of the (Premier) 
Earl of Aberdeen, in the second quarter of the present 
century. Sir Robert Gordon added considerably to 
the small " house " which he found on the estate, and 
the "old castle" had latterly a somewhat imposing 
appearance. When Sir Robert died in 1847 Prince 
Albert acquired the reversion of his lease. For several 
years the Prince had been looking for an estate in the 
North of Scotland whereon a summer and autumn 
residence for the Queen could be provided, and Upper 
Deeside had been recommended by physicians and 
others as the most suitable locality. On 8th Septem- 
ber, 1848, Her Majesty first arrived at Balmoral, 
after having landed at Aberdeen. Some years after- 
wards Prince Albert bought the estate, which stretches 
to the summit of Lochnagar. The price was j£^ 1,500. 
As the old castle proved quite inadequate for the 
royal requirements, the erection of a new structure 
was resolved upon, and on 28th September, 1853, 
the Queen laid the foundation-stone of the present 
building, which was completed in August, 1856. As 
is well known the estate is now the property of the 
Queen, and Her Majesty increased its extent several 
years ago on the West by purchasing Ballochbuie 
Forest from Invercauld. Including Birkhall on the 
East (bought for the Prince of Wales when he was 
comparatively young, and lately acquired from him by 
the Queen) the Royal lands on Deeside extend to be- 
tween 40,000 and 50,000 acres. All this is private 
property, and not in any sense a possession of the 

Reference has already been made to many 
memorials erected by the Queen, and numerous 



Others could be mentioned. Perhaps two should be 
specially noted here. The first is a cairn of pyra- 
midal form on Creag an Lurachain (1437 ^"^^0 — one 


of the tops of Creag a' Ghobhainn (the blacksmith's 
craig), better known as Craig Gowan, which rises 
immediately to the South of Balmoral Castle. This 
Cairn is a prominent object to the traveller passing 
along the North Deeside road. A number of the stones 
are marked with initials, representing all the members 
of the Royal Family. The tablet is thus inscribed : — 




August 21, 1862. 

" He being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long 

For his soul pleased the Lord, 
Therefore hastened He to take him 
Away from among the wicked." 

Wisdom of SolomoHy iv. 13, 14. 



The Other memorial is a bronze statue of the Prince 
Consort, by Theed, which stands on a high granite 
pedestal in an enclosed planting East from the entrance 
to the Castle, and may just be discerned among the 
trees. Facmg it is a bronze statue of the Queen, 
erected three years ago by the tenantry and the 
servants on the Queen's Deeside estates and in the 
Royal Household. Near these statues is an obelisk 
raised to the memory of the Prince Consort soon 
after his death by the tenantry on the estates of 
Balmoral, Birkhall, and Abergeldie. 

About a mile beyond Balmoral, to the North of 
the road, stood the original house of Monaltrie, the 
property of the Farquharsons. It was burned while in 
the occupancy of Government troops, after the battle of 
Culloden. Subsequently another house bearing the 
same name was erected under the shadow of Craigen- 
darroch, immediately at the East end of the Pass of 
Ballater. The small "clachan" called the Street of 
Monaltrie was built for some of the old Highland 
soldiers on their return from the American wars. It 
is about a mile Westward from the site of the old 
house. Veins of fluor-spar in granite have been found 
in this neighbourhood. 

Cam na Cuimhue (the cairn of remembrance) is the 
next object that will interest the tourist. It is a rough 
cairn of small stones surmounted by a flag-staflf and 
vane. A low stone dyke, within which are planted a 
few trees, encloses th^ cairn, which is on the left-hand 
side of the road and close to the North bank of the 
river. " Carn na Cuimhue " was the " slogan " of the 
Farquharsons. The story regarding it is that when each 
clansman attended at the muster ground he brought 


a stone which he laid down near the cairn. The 
survivors, on their return from the expedition 
to which they had been summoned, each removed 
a stone from the subsidiary heap, and the stones left 
in it answered to the number of the slain and were 
added to the cairn. Opposite the cairn (on the South 
side of the Dee) is the mouth of the Gelder Burn. 
The ascent of Lochnagar, the Dee forded, may at 
certain seasons be advantageously made from this 
point, despite a modern guide-book's direction that 
it "should not be attempted without a guide". 
Lochnagar is well seen here. Towards Inver, to the 
South- Westward of Carn na Cuimhue, the rocks are 
quartzose gniess, hornblende rock, bluish gray gran- 
ular limestone and granite. 

Abont a mile West of Carn na Cuimhue the 
Deeside road crosses the Feardar Burn at Mill of 
Inver, along which burn, in an upward direction, is 
the district of Aberarder. A quarter-of-a-mile farther 
along the main road is the Invercauld Arms, better 
known as Inver Inn. It is not a large building, but it is 
a favourite resort for tourists during the season. A 
former host, who rejoiced in the sobriquet of " Civil 
Bonnets", was a well-known character in his day. 
Opposite the Inn, on the South side of the Dee, is 
Canup Hill (147 7 feet) which is surmounted by the 
Princess Royal's Cairn. A few yards West of the Inn 
a peep may be had of the rocky summits of Ben Avon. 

CHAPTER 111,— (Conc/uded.) 


J, — Inver to Castle ton. 

The standard's on the Braes of Mar, 

Its ribands streaming rarely ; 
The gathering pipes on Lochnagar, 

They're sounding lang and sarely. 

WESTWARD of Inver Inn for about a couple of miles 
the pine and birch bordered road runs through a 
monotonously flat strip known as the Muir of Inver. 
On the South side of the river the Ballochbuie Forest 
affords shelter to deer and various kinds of game. 
Passing a wooden bridge, a little below the 55th mile- 
stone, which was thrown across the Dee for the pur- 
pose of carting cut timber from the Forest, and which 
now gives access from the North to the Danzig Shiel, 
a small lodge of the Queen's situated in the recesses 
of the Forest, the traveller will observe on his 
left, and only a short distance from the road, the old 
Bridge of Dee, which is 55 J miles from Aberdeen. 
Here, according to Dr. Macgillivray, the bed of the 
river is obliquely intersected by a broken ridge of 
slaty rock, causing a succession of little falls and 
rapids. The bridge was erected in 1752 by General 
Wade, in connection with his military road from Blair- 
gowrie by Corgarff and Grantown to Inverness. It 
was built of stones obtained from Craig Clunie, on the 
South side of the Dee, in the vicinity. The bridge is now 
the property of the Queen, and connects the private 



road (formerly a part of the South Deeside turnpike) 
with the North Deeside road. The public are 
allowed the use of the bridge and the private road to 
visit the Falls of the Garbh Allt (rough burn), and an 
old retainer is stationed at the lodge at the North end 
of the bridge to see that this liberty is not abused. 

The Falls of the Garbh Allt are within the Balloch- 
buie Forest, fully a mile South-East from the old Bridge 
of Dee. They are well worth seeing, being generally 
considered the most picturesque falls on Deeside, 
although the burn is inconsiderable in volume, and 
the falls, which are three in number, are by no means 
remarkable for height. The bed of the burn is exceed- 
ingly rocky, and its banks are overhung by pines and 
birches; but the grandeur and solitude of the Falls are 
marred, accordmg to some authorities on the picturesque, 
by a cast-iron bridge with a bow arch thrown across 
the stream just above the uppermost fall. 

Above the Falls two burns (the Feindallacher and 
the Allt Lochan an Eoin) unite to form the Garbh 
Allt, and between these burns, up the Northern slope 
of Lochnagar, stretches the " Smuggler's Shank", an 
old route towards Glen Doll and Glen Clova in For- 
farshire. This "Shank" received its name from 
having been in former times much used by smugglers 
to convey whisky on horseback- from Deeside to the 
South. It is maintained by some that there is a right- 
of-way by this route through the Ballochbuie Forest 
to Lochnagar and the upper glens of the South Esk, 
but the question is not now likely to be raised. 
Mountaineers occasionally use this route when Her 
Majesty is not in the district. 

Smuggling has had to be frequently mentioned in 


connection with Lochnagar and its glens. An anony- 
mous writer in the beginning of the present century 
(the author of A Summer Ramble in the North High- 
lands) has some interesting remarks on the subject 
He states that in the glens and mountain nooks bor- 
dering on the rivers Dee and Don, illicit distillation 
"is the chief dependence of the peasantry; consequently 
in no quarter of Scotland does it prevail to a greater 
extent". He declares that the natives themselves 
assert that though the penalty were death they must 
still risk it, as they could not otherwise raise money to 
supply the exactions of their landlords. At the period 
referred to, as readers scarcely need be reminded, it 
was not deemed in any sense a reproach to speak of a 
man as a smuggler or a poacher. In fact, so common 
and so rooted was the custom of illicitly distilling 
whisky in Upper Deeside, that even the female farm 
and domestic servants had considerable interest in the 
practice. The reason for this is obvious — it gave the 
servant a common interest with the master in keeping 
the "ganger" from making unpleasant discoveries. 

Parenthetically a few sentences may be set down 
here to indicate why Highlanders were so remarkable 
for their distrust of strangers, and why they were so 
extremely reticent in giving precise information regard- 
ing localities and distances. When it became neces- 
sary that the laws for collecting duty upon all 
whisky manufactured should be strictly enforced, a 
system of espionage was introduced which made opera- 
tions with " sma' stills " doubly hazardous, and con- 
sequently increased the precautions and the watchful- 
ness necessary to evade detection. Of course the regular 
" ganger " was well known in his own district, and his 


every movement was observed and informed about. 
But there were "rangers" in addition, and these 
" rangers " rode wherever they listed, and thus became 
enemies against whom foresight could not always avail. 
The inhabitants of the glens compared them to the 
bloodhound, hunting silently and secretly ; pouncing 
on their prey in the most sequestered spots and at the 
most unlikely hours. The possible visits of these 
officers created a prodigious antipathy to strangers 
among the naturally hospitable peasantry ; and every 
person whose face was not quite familiar, or whose 
coat appeared cut in a fashion at variance with the 
taste of the country tailors, was viewed with suspicion, 
and often received treatment of the kind that Bailie 
Nicol Jarvie described as " the North side o' friendly'!. 
Returning to the old Bridge of Dee, the traveller 
may observe opposite it, on the North side of the 
road, the entrance gate to Invercauld House. Strangely 
enough the Farquharsons of Invercauld are the only 
survivors, albeit by the female line, of the old families 
of Braemar. Befitting such an ancient Highland 
family, the mansion-house is a princely building, both 
externally and internally, and is unrivalled for situation. 
The style of the building is the Scottish Baronial, the 
principal feature being a tower, surmounted by battle- 
ments, which rises to the height of about 70 feet. In the 
year 1875 the house was greatly enlarged — indeed 
almost reconstructed — but the old historic dining-hall 
is still almost the same as in the time of the Stewarts. 
The view from the house is superb. The Dee, winding 
through a narrow valley carpeted with green, can be 
followed for miles. To the South rise tree-clad rocks 
and crags, discernible among them being the mist 








4 " 



over the Falls of the Garbh Allt, while above them 
ascends Lochnagar with its storm-scarred peaks. On 
the North-West Ben a' Bhuird rears its mighty form, 
its corrie'd side showing the gashes and fissures resulting 
from long-continued warring with natural forces. Alto- 
gether it is a scene of mingled sweetness and wild- 
ness, of verdure and bareness, of beauty and grandeur 
scarcely surpassed in Scotland. 

The chieftain of the Farquharson clan in 1715, 
John Farquharson of Invercauld, was a leader, un- 
willingly enough, in the rising of that year. But the 
then all-powerful Earl of Mar involved him in the 
action of the Jacobites, and appointed him to a post 
of honour in their army. The Highland adherents of 
the old dynasty met in Invercauld House to arrange 
their plans, and from that mansion, for nearly the last 
time in Scotland, the "fiery cross" was sent forth 
through the hills and glens. In 1 745 the same Inver- 
cauld chieftain was still alive, but he took no part in 
the new rising, although the most of the Farquharsons 
" went out" under the laird of Monaltrie. 

Resuming the route to Braemar the traveller has 
to cross (about 150 yards above the old bridge) the 
new bridge which was erected at the expense of Prince 
Albert on the shutting up of the Ballochbuie road. 
It is a handsome granite structure, known as Inver- 
cauld Bridge, and, with the road improvements, cost 
about ;;^50oo. Crossing Invercauld Bridge to the 
South side of the river the pedestrian will get, as he 
leans on the Southern parapet, the last peep of Loch- 
nagar obtainable on the journey to Braemar. At the 
South-West end of the bridge a small bum, the Allt na 
Claise Moire (the burn of the big hollow), enters the 


Dee. There is a " short cut " along this burn to 
Auchallater at the mouth of Glen Callater. 

Shortly after crossing the bridge a big stone may 
be observed on the right hand side of the road. It is 
known as the " Muckle Stane o' Clunie ", and it formed 
in olden days one of the landmarks between the pro- 
perties of the Erskines of Clunie and the Farquharsons 
of Invercauld, but Clunie was long ago swallowed up 
in the larger estate. The noted Craig Clunie is on the 
opposite (left) side of the road. A recess (a little beyond 
the 56th mile-stone) in this crag, about a third of the 
way up, and rather difficult of access, is still known as 
the " Charter Chest ", from the Invercauld titles and 
papers having been concealed there in the troublous 
times after the '15. Tradition has it that the laird 
himself hid then in the cave there for some months, 
and had more than once the mortification of hearing 
the Government troops making merry about Inver- 
cauld. Soon after passing Craig Clunie the Lion's 
Face, another tree-clothed crag, is passed on the left 
about 56f miles from Aberdeen. The rocks on the 
upper part of the crag were fancied at one time to have 
a resemblance to the features of the king of beasts, but 
any likeness of that kind has long been unrecognisable 
from the growth of the trees. There is a path by the 
Lion's Face and Dubh Chlais (black hollow) to 
Castleton and Glen Clunie. The hills on the South 
side of the Dee, between Invercauld Bridge and Castle- 
ton, including the Lion's Face and Craig Choinnich, 
are composed of quartz rock, gneiss, mica-slate, horn- 
blende rock, granite and limestone. 

A short distance beyond the Lion's Face is Craig 
Choinnich (Kenneth's Craig), so called from Kenneth 



II., who, according to tradition, watched the chase 
from its summit. At its foot on the opposite (the 
North) side of the road is Braemar Castle, long the 

^jittJir^riiifiaBi^ ' 


property of the Earls of Mar. After the Revolution 
the then Braemar Castle was garrisoned with Royal 
troops to keep the country in subjection ; but the 
natives turned upon the soldiers, and compelled their 
retreat, thereafter burning the Castle. In 17 15 the 
whole of the Mar estates were forfeited. They were 
afterwards purchased by Lords Dun and Grange, from 
whom, in 1730, the John Farquharson of Invercauld, 
already mentioned, bought the Castle and its lands. 
In 1748 this same Farquharson leased the remains of 
the Castle to the War Office, with 14 acres of ground, 
for the space of 99 years, at the yearly rent of ;;^i4. 
The Government then built the present Castle, and it 


served for many years as barracks for the soldiers 
stationed there to keep the Highlanders in check. A 
more peaceful "gathering of the Clans" than that of the 
'i 5 or '45 has, for about half a century past, taken place at 
the Castle, almost every year, under the auspices of the 
Braemar Royal Highland Society, whose "games" 
receive Royal and noble patronage. Racing up Craig 
Choinnich was formerly one of the items in the pro- 
gramme, but was given up at the request of the Queen, 
after Her Majesty became aware that the great exer- 
tion caused serious injury to the competitors. 

About a furlong beyond Braemar Castle, a few yards 
short of the 58th milestone, the tourist will pass, on 
the right, the churchyard of Braemar. The old name 
of the church and parish was St. Andrews, which was 
changed in the time of Malcom Canmore to Kyndrochet 
(Bridgend). About the close of Queen Mary's reign, 
when the Earl of Mar became proprietor of the lands 
in the district, the name of the parish was again 
changed, this time to Braemar. The old church 
stood in the burial-ground, and on its site now stands 
the burial aisle of the Farquharsons of Invercauld. 
The old Mackenzies of Dalmore (now Old Mar Lodge), 
the predecessors of the Duke of Fife in this part of the 
country, have burial ground close to the West end of 
the aisle. John Farquharson of the '15 is buried in 
the aisle, and is surrounded by his descendants. One 
of the tombstones in the churchyard marks the last 
resting-place of the oldest "rebel" in Scotland, 
" Peter Grant, sometime farmer in Dubrach, who died 
at Auchendryne, the nth of Feb., 1824, aged no 
years ". 

About half-a-mile further on is the village of 


Castleton of Braemar. The first building reached is 
the Invercauld Arms Hotel, where a historic rock 
was blasted almost out of existence some years ago, 
to allow for an extension of the hotel premises. On 
that rock on. 6th September, 17 15, John Erskine, the 
39th Earl of Mar, amid a great gathering of clansmen, 
planted the standard of the Chevalier de St. George, 
whom he had previously at Glenlivat proclaimed King, 
by the title of James VIII. 

The village of Braemar has grown up on both sides 
of the Clunie, a tributary of the Dee from the South. 
The portion on the right bank of the stream is 
distinguished as Castleton, and is on the Invercauld 
Estate, while that on the other side is called Auchen- 
dryne, and belongs to the Duke of Fife. 

In the first quarter of the present century the 
village was one of the meanest of Highland clachans. 
It then consisted of a number of low smoky thatched 
cottages, which, overgrown with grass and noisome 
weeds, were scattered in all directions without the 
slightest attempt at regularity. There was then but 
one inn, and, according to Mr. Grierson, it " was more 
suitable for drovers and excise officers than any 
higher description of travellers". On the return of 
that mountaineering divine to Braemar in 1850 all 
this was changed, and the village had become a 
fashionable health resort. But even at that later 
date Mr. Grierson remarked that certain of the old 
cottages were " of the olden school, much resembling 
Irish hovels ". Only one or two houses of that class 
are now to be seen. 

Unlike the village of Ballater, the village of Castle- 
ton of Braemar is of great antiquity. Under the name 


of Kyndrochet it was in the olden time long the abode 
of Royalty and of the nobles who delighted in being 
near the King. Kenneth II. had here a hunting seat, 
all trace of which has long disappeared ; but the ruins 
of Malcolm Canmore's Castle are still to be seen at 
the East end of the bridge over the Clunie. In later 
days the Bruce was a fugitive in the district for a 
considerable time, and at a more modern period 
the Earls of Mar — some of whom scorned to think 
themselves of lesser dignity than the King on the 
throne — held high revelry in Braemar. The village is 
now the fashionable capital of the Deeside Highlands, 
and is resorted to by health and pleasure seekers from 
all parts of the kingdom — ^it might be said of the globe. 
The summer climate of Braemar is one of the 
healthiest and most bracing in the British Isles. 
From the mountaineer*s point of view it is a capital 
centre from which to explore the great Deeside hills — 
from Lochnagar on the East to the Cairngorms on the 


7. Castleton to Loch Callater. 

Hail ! Hail ! to the land where the clouds love to rest 
Like the shroud of the dead on the mountain's cold breast ; 
To the cataract's roar where the eagles reply, 
And the loch its lone bosom expands to the sky. 

BRAEMAR is the most fashionable, as Ballater is 
the most popular, point from which to commence the 
ascent of Lochnagar. The distance from Castleton to 
Cac Cam Beag is about 12 miles, a mile-and-a-half 
less than from Ballater, but of the dozen miles from Brae- 
mar only 5 can be driven (to Loch Callater Lodge, a 
keeper's house), as against 9 when the ascent is made 
from the East The mountain pony is, however, often 
called into requisition from the lower end of Loch 

Leaving Braemar for Lochnagar, the route lies 
Southward by Glen Clunie for two miles ; then South- 
Eastward through Glen Callater to the lower end of 
Loch Callater for three miles ; and afterwards by a 
path in an Easterly direction to the summit. Glen 
Clunie is drained by the Water of Clunie, which rises 
on the borders of Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, near 
the Cairnwell, and joins the Dee a short distance below 
the village of Braemar, after a course of about 12 miles. 
The Clunie is a capital stream both for trout and 
salmon ; it belongs almost entirely to the Invercauld 
estate. The Duke of Fife, the only other proprietor, 


owns the Western bank of the Clunie for about a mile 
from its junction with the Dee. The road up Glen 
Clunie is on the East side of the stream, and proceeds 
by the Caimwell and Spital of Glenshee to Blairgowrie, 
and thence to Dunkeld. Tourists from the South 
frequently use this route, which for the most part is 
rather wild and picturesque, and is preferred by some 
because it saves a long journey going round by Aberdeen. 
A four-in-hand coach regularly runs along it each way 
during several months in the season. It may be noted 
here that Braemar is approachable on wheels only from 
the South and the East There are driving roads West- 
wards from Braemar to the Linn of Dee, and to several 
shooting lodges in the forest of Mar, but they are not 
continuous with carriage roads from the Atholl Valley 
or the Speyside district. The approaches to Braemar 
from these localities are by mountain paths only. 

When leaving Castleton for Lochnagar the tra- 
veller's attention is naturally directed at first to two 
hills, one on the right (Mor Shron — the big nose), and 
the other on the left (Craig Choinnich). The former 
has become popularly known as Morrone, and is 
composed of quartzose mica-slate with some limestone, 
with on the West side dikes of red felspar porphyry. 
Morrone rises to a height of 2819 feet above sea level, 
and occupies the upper angle formed by the Dee and 
the Clunie. The natives maintain that the highest 
cultivated land in Scotland is on its North-Eastem 
slope, on a ridge called Tomintoul (a by no means 
rare name in Gaelic topography), but this statement 
has frequently been called in question. It is a pretty 
stiff climb to the top of Morrone, but one is well reward- 
ed by the "local" views obtained as the ascent is made, 


and by the panorama of mountains spread out on all 
sides around the summit. The mountaineer will be 
delighted most with the prospect to the North and 
the North-West. The Cairngorms are visible from 
the Feshie on the West to the Gairn on the East — 
such a view of them is had from no other point 
on Deeside. 

Two miles South from Castleton, on the traveller's 
right, and close to the confluence of the Clunie and the 
Callater, is the large sheep form of Auchallater (the 
field of the wooded stream). The prominent hill 
immediately to the "South, between the Clunie and the 
Callater, is Sron Dubh (the black nose). Here the 
Lochnagar tourist leaves Glen Clunie, first crossing 
the Callater, and then taking the road on the left 
which leads through Glen Callater. Now, there is not 
a " reekin' lum " in it, except the keeper's at Loch 
Callater. The glen has thus rather a desolate aspect,, 
more particularly as it is narrow and bare of trees. 
The hills are over 2000 feet in height on both sides,, 
and the view is consequently rather confined. The 
monotony is, however, relieved by the lively burn, 
which is constantly heard and rarely out of sight, as 
it brawls and tumbles over its rocky bed, making a 
series of miniature cascades. The rocks are mostly of 
mica-slate and granite, mica-slate being quarried at 
the lower end of the glen for roofing, while limestone 
occurs at the lower end of Loch Callater. About mid- 
way between Auchallater and the loch, the burn is 
crossed by a wooden bridge, which, like the road itself, 
is much in want of repair. It is understood that any 
superficial repair the road has received during several 
years past has been made by the hirers in Braemar, 


vfho are not unnaturally interested in preventing it 
from getting utterly impassable for vehicles. This 
bridge is a few yards above the junction with the 
Callater of a short stream, the Allt Coire Ghiubhais, 
from Loch Phadruig (Peter), a small sheet of water 
named after a priest, of whom the traveller will hear 
immediately. The loch itself will be seen as the 
ascent is made by the path. This priest's name is 
again met mth in Creag Phadruig — ^an eminence 
rising to a height of about 2300 feet a little to the 
South-West of .the Loch — and Allt Phadruig, a small 
burn joining the Callater about half-way between the 
wooden bridge and the lower end of Loch Callater. 
Near the bridge is a round-topped green hillock which, 
in the palmy days of superstition, was accounted a 
resort of the " little folks". Indeed, Dr. Macgillivray, 
writing in 1850, says that "on it a man still living has 
seen fairies dancing, with a piper playing to them ". 
The usual legend crops up here. On a certain 
Christmas evening two men proceeding from Loch 
Callater to Castleton heard beautiful music, and saw the 
little folks dancing on the hillock. One of the men 
fled precipitately, but the other stayed to feast his ears 
and eyes, and Christmas came round again before he 
was discovered as he had been left — standing, admiring 
the antics of the fairies. At first he declined to leave, 
as he " hadna been there but for an hour or twa", but 
he was ultimately rescued from the fascinations of the 
"green-clad folk". 

Loch Callater, 1627 feet above the sea level, is 80 
acres in extent and very deep in some parts, the water 
being black-looking and tinged with peat. Its length 
is about seven furlongs, and it has a breadth of about 


one furlong. The loch is a rather tame, treeless, un- 
interesting sheet of water, but the upper end is re- 
deemed by a grassy haugh, and by the steep rocky 
mountains, sharpish peaked, which seem to shut it in. 
The Statistical Account says that the loch produces 
" fine little salmon of about seven or eight pounds 
weight and some eel ". Salmon are now found up to 
fourteen pounds in weight, but they can only be caught 
by the net. Trout and large pike are also plentiful. 
The neighbourhood of the loch had m. former times 
a fair population, as is evidenced by the ruins of houses 
yet to be seen at both ends, and also by the "larachs" 
of shielings about a mile above the head of the 
loch. Highlanders in former times were always 
careful to utilise a flat grassy bit of ground, whether by 
a loch or along a burnside. 

The principal feeder of Loch Callater is Allt an 
Loch (the burn of the loch), which enters at the South- 
East end, where the ground is flat and marshy. Allt 
an Loch drains the Aberdeenshire side of the moun- 
tains that here border on Forfarshire. Along that bum 
and over the Tolmount (a mountain which tops the 
glen), lies the famous route by Jock's Road to Glen 
DolL As this picturesque " highway " is not yet too 
well known — at least at the Callater end — it may not 
be out of place to indicate such general directions as 
should suffice for the ordinary pedestrian, who wishes 
to visit one of the finest glens that a landowner ever 
tried to shut up (happily without success). While at 
the lower end of Loch Callater, Tolmount (some four 
miles distant) will be readily recognised by its "saddle" 
— a depression in the ridge to the East of the summit. 
This "saddle" has to be made for — first up Loch 


Callater, keeping the water on the right, and then 
ascending by the side of the bum, an intermittent path 
occasionally assisting the tourist. About three-quar- 
ters of an hour's stiff climb will be required for the 
ascent of the " saddle " itself, and then, bearing a little 
to the left, a deer fence will be faced. Crossing this 
fence the track will be struck a little below. Soon 
Loch Esk, one of the sources of the South Esk, will 
be seen. The path keeps to the right for Glen Doll, 
and through it to Glen Clova. The distance between 
Braemar and Milton of Clova is about 20 miles. An 
average " time table ", based on fairly easy walking, 
with due allowance for halts, luncheon, &c., may be 
given as follows : — Braemar to Loch Callater (keeper's 
house), Dne-and-ahalf hours ; to track on summit of 
Tolmount, two-and-a-half hours ; to Jock's Road, one- 
and-a-half hours ; to lower end of Glen Doll, one-and-a- 
half hours ; to Milton of Clova, one hour ; total, eight 

This digression has led away from Loch Callater, 
several surroundings of which may properly receive a 
little more notice. A short path, beginning a few 
yards East of the keeper's house, leads to a particularly 
large boulder by the loch side at which is " the Priest's 
Well ", a small chalybeate spring joining the loch. 
Of course this well has a story associated with it. 
According to legend, Braemar, at some remote period, 
suffered from a frost of longer duration and greater 
strength than even that wintry district had ever pre- 
viously experienced. The month of May came, but 
so hard was the ground that not a plough could enter 
it. Famine being feared, appeal was made to Phadruig, 
the priest already alluded to. The good man led his 


anxious flock to this well, which, being of unusual 
character, was then esteemed of saintly origin. Like 
all others in the neighbourhood, however, its waters 
were fast sealed up, but after repeated prayers the 
well began to thaw. The first water drawn from it 
was applied to holy purposes. Mass celebrated, the 
priest resumed his supplications with the gratifying 
result that the thaw became general. The mountain 
on which the lowering clouds, intimating the advent of 
rain, were first seen, was called Cam an t-Sagairt, the 
Priest's Mountain, but in these degenerate days the 
name has been corrupted to the more common-place, 
if not euphonious, form of "Cairn Taggart ". Another 
version of the tradition has it that both priest and 
people went to Cam an t-Sagairt and remained there 
until the desired thaw set in. Until a comparatively 
recent period the Priest's Well — like many of its 
kind — had considerable popularity, and the usual 
offerings of coins, buttons, and '* preens " were thrown 
into it. 

Another tradition in connection with Loch Callater, 
and the virtues of a well within two miles of its borders, 
may not unfitly be narrated here. Sometime about 
the middle of the seventeenth century there lived in 
Castleton one Allan M*Hardy, who held the honour- 
able position of arrow-maker to the Earl of Mar. 
M*Hardy married, in middle age, a young girl- of the 
district, of more beauty than principle, who seems to 
have accepted him for his position. Previous to his 
marriage, Allan had never suffered from a day's illness, 
but a year or two after it he was seized by an unaccount- 
able languor and wasting, which local skill and 
remedies failed to arrest. At last he took counsel 


with a hermit who lived in the recesses of Aberarder. 
The hermit directed M*Hardy to proceed to Cairn 
Taggart, and to drink of a spring he would find there 
and be cured. The hermit further told him that if at 
any future time he should be severely stricken in battle, 
his wound would be immediately healed if it were 
washed with the water of that well. M*Hardy followed 
the hermit's advice, and finding himself cured of 
his illness resolved to leave Castleton and take up his 
abode at Loch Callater, where he would be within 
comparatively easy reach of the spring. For some ten 
years M*Hardy had no occasion to put the water to 
the test, but at the end of that period he received 
what seemed certain to prove a mortal wound in a 
clan fight with the Shaws of Rothiemurchus. At his 
own request he was carried home, and his first 
instructions to his wife were that she should bring him 
water from the well on the Priest's Mountain. As the 
story runs, the young wife had not been over-grateful 
to the Aberarder hermit for his previous cure of her 
husband, and she now resolved to take her own course. 
She therefore contented herself with drawing water 
from the AUt a' Chlaiginn (the burn of the skull), 
which enters the Allt an Loch near the head of Loch 
Callater. This water had no sooner touched her 
husband's wound than, uttering the cry " Accursed 
woman ! " he fell back dead. Thereafter the spring on 
Cairn Taggart received the name of "the arrow- 
maker's well ". It may readily be observed on the 
Southern slope of the mountain a few yards above the 
left side of the path, at a height of fully 3000 feet. 
One of the eminences which rise above the head of 
the loch, and which still retains the name of Creag an 


Fhir-shaighde or Creag an Leisdhair (the arrow- 
maker's craig), attaining a height of 2800 feet, is 
believed to have derived its name from M*Hardy's 
residence at Loch Callater. 

Still another story — one even more tragic in its 
character than that of the arrow-maker — is connected 
with Loch Callater by the residence there, about the 
beginning of last century, of a shepherd named 
William Cameron. He had made his way to 
Braemar from the country of Lochiel, and had his 
house on the banks of the AUt a* Chlaiginn at the 
head of Loch Callater. Cameron was a handsome, 
brawny fellow, upwards of six feet in height, and in 
trials of skill and strength had repeatedly shown his 
superiority over the natives of the district. Further, 
he had won the love of Elasaid Gordon, whose beauty 
was famed in every glen in Upper Deeside. Elasaid 
was the only child of an old shepherd who lived at 
the Glasallt Shiel, near the head of Loch Muick, and 
many were the wooers who had sought to gain her 
favour before she yielded her heart to William 
Cameron. Among his rivals perhaps the chief was 
Ian Farquharson, who had proved himself no mean 
antagonist in Highland sports, and who had also 
seemed likely to gain the fair Elasaid before Cameron's 
arrival Ian had consequently a special grudge 
against the stranger, alike for his success in the field 
of " war " and in the court of love, and his envious 
thoughts regarding Cameron were shared by several 
companions. The Lochaber man heeded them not, 
for he was the accepted bridegroom of the flower of 
Glen Muick, and he was happy. The marriage day 
was at hand. Willie was paying his last visit to his 


sweetheart before he should come to be united to her 
in wedlock, and naturally enough he stayed late. 
Elasaid Gordon's father, who was regarded as possessed 
of the second sight, urged him not to leave for Loch 
Callater that night, warning him — " I see a red mist on 
the Dubh Loch, and the croak of the raven is in my 
ears". Cameron laughed at old Alasdair's warning, 
reassured his betrothed that he would be perfectly 
safe, as he knew every foot of the way alike in storm 
and sun, and took a loving farewell. He had need 
of his knowledge, for just as he reached the *' StuUan '' 
Burn, about a mile from the shepherd's cottage, a 
storm of wind and sleet came down with such violence 
that Cameron was fain to take shelter in the " black " 
bothy, well known to every man in the glens. There, 
Ian Farquharson and Rob and Donald Macintosh 
were hard at work. The smugglers gave Cameron a 
hearty welcome, and the usquebagh was freely 
circulated, both in friendship and in anticipation of 
the approaching happy event. When the storm 
cleared a little Cameron insisted on going home, and 
his hosts, whose passions had shown signs of being 
roused against him, hesitatingly allowed him to depart. 
Soon, however, they gave chase, and Cameron was 
overtaken nearly half-a-mile above the Dubh Loch — 
about two miles from the bothy. The three men there 
set upon him with their dirks, Farquharson offering him 
his life if he would give up Elasaid. Cameron refused 
to purchase life at such a price, and fell by the burn- 
side pierced to the heart, but not before he had 
inflicted a mortal wound on Farquharson. The 
Macintoshes carried Cameron's body into a corrie on 
the South side of the burn, between the Dubh Loch and 


Cairn Bannoch, and concealed it in the moss. The snow 
storm, which had been impending, came down with such 
persistence that all traces -of the murderous struggle 
were speedily effaced, and, as the Macintoshes kept 
silence, Cameron's disappearance remained a mystery, 
although the death of Farquharson gave rise to certain 
suspicions. Donald Macintosh met his death by 
violence in a distant part of the Highlands several 
years afterwards, but before he expired he confessed 
his share in the crime, and the search thereupon 
made led to the recovery of Cameron's body. Elasaid 
Gordon did not long survive the disappearance of 
her lover, and, with her father, was buried in Glen- 
muick churchyard, under one of the nameless, rough, 
coffin-shaped slabs near the Western dyke of the 
burial-ground. Cameron's remains were interred near 
the same spot. This story of love and jealousy is now 
little known, even amongst the oldest inhabitants of 
the district, but the name of the place where the body 
was found resulted from the events narrated, and is 
marked in the Ordnance Survey maps as Coire 
Uilleim Mhoir (Meikle Willie's Corrie). 


(A transUUion from the Gaelic; believed to have been written of 
Glen Callatery in the beginning of the present century,) 

The long Atlantic waves are saying ** Farewell "! 

And the winds from the corrie are sighing " Farewell "! 

And the bum where the speckled brown trout are dancing is 

calling "Farewell"! 
And my heart, my heart is weeping " Farewell "! 


Oh ! never, never looked the glen so fair, 

Or the wind-beat loch, or the dark moor, or the cliffs where the 

eagles are screaming. 
For the round white moon is piercing the mist on the hill — 
But not the mist on my heart, 
On my heart that is weeping " Farewell, Farewell "! 

The white sails are spread for the West, 

And the sailors are chanting a merry song as they pull at the 

But my heart's song is sad. 
And the sails of my desire are not for the West, 
And my heart, my heart is weeping " Farewell "! 

The sharp keel is slipping through the sea. 
And the long shore and the fields and the hills are growing dim. 
And my eyes are dim with tears for the land of the heather. 
And my heart is weeping, is weeping ** Farewell "I 

CHAPTER lY,'-( Concluded,) 

2, Loch Callater to Cac Cam Beag. 

Now to the mountain's peak, 
Whence hills in glory spread, 
Hasten, O nature's child! 

THE real ascent of Lochnagar begins a few yards- 
short of the keeper's house at Loch Callater, and pro- 
bably the pedestrian will not be disinclined to exchange 
the rough stony road along the glen for a mountain 
path. The track first leads up, and then along, the 
face of Creag an Loch, a steep ridge that overlooks 
Loch Callater on its North-East side. Here, however,, 
there is no path such as is described on the Eastern 
side of Lochnagar. The path is simply a track — at 
times somewhat indistinct, and in some places marred 
rather than improved by the ponies that are not in- 
frequently used by tourists. But no real difficulty will 
be experienced in finding the way by it to Cac Carn 
Beag. After going along the Southern face of Creag 
an Loch for about a mile the path takes for nearly 
another mile a North-Easterly course, and then (at 
first in a South-Easterly direction) rounds Cairn 
Taggart at a height of about 3100 feet — about 300 
feet below the summit of that mountain. 

The view to the South as one proceeds from Creag 
an Loch to Cairn Taggart is very fine. Loch Callater,.. 
immediately below, gets included in a wider view, and 
loses something of its bleak appearance. Nestling in 


the Eastern shoulder of Carn an Tuirc (the Boar's 
Cairn), a mountain rising to a height of 3340 feet, the 
sheet of water, named on the map Loch Ceann-mor — 
the " lonely, lonely, dark Loch Candor " of Professor 
Blackie — charms the eye, about a-mile-and-a-half to 
the South of Loch Callater. It is situated in a magni- 
ficent corrie, at a height of 2196 feet above sea-level, 
with, according to Dr. Macgillivray, rocks 800 feet 
high of micaceous slaty quartz, red felspar porphyry, 
and hornblende slate and rock. Loch Ceann-mor, 
according to some authorities, refers to Malcolm 
Canmore and his residence in Braemar. It covers an 
area of six acres, and contains trout, which have been 
described as " lean and hungry fishes ". The tributary 
stream to Allt an Loch, rushing headlong down from 
it, well deserves the name by which it is now known, 
" the Breakneck Fall ", a translation from the Gaelic ; 
"the foxes' stone" — another translated term — is as- 
signed to a particularly large block beside the Breakneck 
Fall. Loch Candor corrie is famed among botanists all 
over the country, for the great number of species of 
Alpine plants it contains. A well-known botanical 
authority writes of it that it is remarkable for its " rare 
and characteristic plants, which of themselves would 
make an herbarium valuable, particularly the Carex 
vahliiy two tufts of which, at least, the situation of 
which I would not show you, have yet escaped the 
avaricious eyes and ruthless hands of vagabond botani- 
cal vandals ". 

So steep are the precipices of the corrie of Loch 
Candor and the Breakneck Fall that occasionally some 
of the sheep which pasture Glen Callater get into 
positions from which they have to be rescued by a 


shepherd let down by a rope. Some thirty years ago a 
gentleman had a narrow escape from perishing among 
these rocks. Admiral Jones, while temporarily residing 
at Braemar, went on a botanical and geological ex- 
cursion up to Loch Candor. Making a slip on the face 
of a precipice, he got into a position from which he 
was unable to release himself. His geological hammer 
had providentially got wedged so tightly among the 
stones that it gave him a grip for his hands, and thus 
enabled him to maintain his footing. During part of 
three days and two nights it required considerable 
effort on the part of the Admiral to keep himself from 
falling headlong down the rocks. Luckily he had 
directed his servant to meet him at the keeper's house 
at Loch Callater in the afternoon, and when night 
came with no appearance of his master, the man gave 
the alarm at Braemar. A large number of the villagers 
set out in search as speedily as possible, and one of 
their parties succeeded in effecting the rescue of the 
exhausted scientist. The searchers refused all recom- 
pense, but Admiral Jones showed his gratitude in 
gifts to the poor of the district 

Rounding Cairn Taggart, the mountaineer will 
observe, at the distance of about a mile to the South- 
South-East, the peak of Cairn Bannoch, which rises to 
an altitude of 3314 feet, on the borders of the Counties 
of Aberdeen and Forfar. The principal head stream 
of the South Esk has its source a quarter-of-a-mile to 
the West of the peak, while the same distance East, 
between Cairn Bannoch and the Dubh Loch, is Meikle 
Willie's Corrie. 

From the East side of Meikle Cairn Taggart, the 
track keeps a more direct course towards Cac Carn 


Mor along the Southern slope of flat-topped Little 
Cairn Taggart. The Dubh Loch will be observed on 
the right as Meikle Cairn Taggart is rounded. Recently 
a sheep fence was put up here with a gate where it crosses 
the path. Near the gate (on the East side of the fence) 
will be observed a wooden hut, which was placed there 
in connection with the erection of the fence. The 
peculiar appearance of this hut will attract attention, 
but it is easily explained — it was one of the shelter huts 
used by the British troops in the Crimea, several of 
which were brought to Invercauld by the late pro- 
prietor. It stands at a height of about 3050 feet. 

Between the two Cairn Taggarts the path crosses 
two small burns (about a quarter-of-a-mile apart), 
which may properly be regarded as the sources of the 
Muick. The larger and more Easterly of these burns 
is the Allt na Da Chraobh Bheath (the burn of the 
two birch trees). This stream was so called from two 
birches that grew upon its banks. Near them, accord- 
ing to tradition, a Mowat of Abergeldie overtook two 
Perthshire caterans on their way South with some of 
his cattle, which they had " lifted ". The reivers were 
summarily dealt with. The trees were " convanient " 
as an Irishman would say, and the strangers were soon 
pendent from their branches. 

The routes to Lochnagar from the South naturally 
converge about the Allt na Da Chraobh Bheath. A 
few words may now be given about them, so as to 
indicate how the tourist who wishes to strike out a path 
for himself, and who does not feel it necessary to 
restrict himself to the shortest walking route, may 
reach the summit of Lochnagar. From Glen Clova 
(not taking into account the Capel Mounth route 


which has already been mentioned), the mountaineer 
may proceed up the South £sk by Bachnagaim to 
Cairn Bannoch, from which the Loch Callater track is 
about a mile-and-a-half distant. Preferably, the South 
£sk may be left at Bachnagaim, whence a path leads 
Northwards to Broad Cairn and Loch Muick. On 
leaving the main stream of the £sk at Braedownie, 
where it is joined by the White Water, the pedestrian 
may go up Glen Doll till he reaches a point on Tol- 
mount near the source of the White Water (the stream 
flowing through the glen), and then keep on the ridge 
Northwards towards Cairn Bannoch. The route by 
Glen Prosen requires that Mayar (a mountain 3043 
feet in height at the head of that glen) should be 
placed on the left, and when the watershed is thus 
reached a Northerly course will be steered to Cairn 
Bannoch. From Alyth a way can be found along Glen 
Isla and Canness Glen to Tolmount. From the vicinity 
of the Caimwell, Glas Maol (ar mountain 3502 feet in 
height at the junction of the three Counties — Aberdeen, 
Perth, and Forfai^ should be made for. Glas Maol is 
about a mile-andna-half East of the road at Caimwell, 
and the route from that mountain lies along the water- 
shed in a North-Easterly direction to Caim Bannoch 
by Tolmount. 

From the Allt na Da Chraobh Bheath an ascent of 
about 400 feet leads to the plateau of the White 
Mouiith. Coire Lochan an Eoin will be passed on the 
left, but a short halt may well be made to inspect what 
is the largest corrie on Lochnagar. It is almost as 
interesting as its companion on the East, from which it 
is about a mile-and-a-half distant. It has three lochans 
(one comparatively large, and two small) within its 



crags, and there is another, fully half-a-mile to the North, 
at the mouth of the corrie. In the Ordnance Survey 
maps the latter lochan and the large one within the 
corrie are misnamed. Lochan an Eoin is the name of 
the large lochan within the corrie (marked Dubh Loch 
in the O.S. maps). Its two small neighbours lying to 
the West are named respectively Lochan na Feadaige 
(the lochlet of plovers) andjLochan an Tarmachan (the 
lochlet of ptarmigan) — these birds being common on 
Lochnagar. The loch at the mouth of the corrie is 
named the Sandy Loch, probably from the fine sand 
on its banks, but in the O.S. maps it is erroneously 
marked " Lochan an Eoin ". Stuc Lochan an Eoin is 
the name of the highest part of the rocks that overtop 
the lochan a little to the South-West The " Stuc " 
divides the corrie into two parts, Lochan an Eoin 
occupying the Eastern division, and Lochans Feadaige 
and Tarmachan the Western. Lochan an Eoin lies at 
a height of 2950 feet, and covers an area of 18 acres ; 
the Sandy Loch is about 350 feet lower, and covers 
about 15 acres. There are no trout in either of these 
lochs, which are drained by the Garbh AUt. On the 
South side of the corrie. North of the path, is the Caim 
of Corbreach (the caim of the speckled corrie), some- 
times in old publications referred to as the Quarry of 
Corbreach. It is extremely likely, however, that the 
proper name is Cairn of Corbroc (the caim of the 
badger corrie). Badgers did at one time abound on 
Lochnagar, and even yet their footprints are occasion- 
ally seen. Cam a' Choire Bhoidheach rises on the 
South side of the path, opposite Cairn of Corbreach — 
but neither is distinguished by a " cairn ". 

" Lochan an Eoin " means the lochlet of birds, and 


has probably been so named from the sea-gulls that 
formerly frequented its banks. Some have erroneously 
supposed that the name was derived from the eagle. 
Eagles certainly had at one time eyries on Lochnagar — 
as already observed, one of the crags by the Dubh Loch 
derives its name from the king of birds — but now not 
one has a habitation on the mountain. Eagles have 
not, however, entirely forsaken the range, for no fewer 
than five were recently observed together over the 
summit. A short time ago a couple bred on a tree 
near Abergeldie Castle, and two of the young birds 
were taken to Balmoral Castle, near which they are 
now housed. They are noble-looking birds, and need 
not a little attention, as a considerable amount of game 
has to be provided for them. Their voracity may be 
judged from the fact that they can dispose of a hind 
in three weeks. 

Cairngorm stones were at one time frequently 
found on Lochnagar, the best crystals being discovered 
near Lochan an Eoin. The search for such stones 
was even regarded as a considerable local industry. 
A writer in 1830 says that he met with parties of 
"topaz-diggers" in search of the topaz, beryl, and 
rock-crystal. The Statistical Account says that " what 
is remarkable, amethysts only are to be found on 
Lochnagar". A small rent was paid the landowner 
for the liberty of searching — as was done about the 
same period on the Cairngorm mountains. Consider- 
able sums are believed to have been made by these 
"diggers". Cairngorms are now very scarce on 
Lochnagar, hardly any being found on the surface of 
the mountain. On the East side of the road near 
Moine Bad nan Cabar (the mossy thicket of trees), in 


the upper part of Glen Gelder, lies the " Meikle Stane 
o' Badachabait ", below which, metal, even more 
precious than Cairngorm stones in their best days, was 
firmly believed to be hidden. More than one of the 
natives, acting on the popular belief, have dug for the 
gold the fairies have concealed there, but without 
success. They had failed to take the precaution of 
propitiating the "little green folk", and the fays did 
not allow their treasures to be molested. 

Allt Lochan an Eoin flows through the Sandy 
Loch in a North-Easterly direction. This stream has 
a tributary on its right bank called the Black Shiel 
Burn, from a shepherd's shiel that occupied a site near 
its source. Between these bums lies Meall na Tionail, 
a name signifying "the gathering hill". This refers 
back to the time when Lochnagar was pastured by 
sheep. When the flocks were collected at the end of 
the season a general meeting place was appointed for 
both sheep and shepherds, and animals that had 
strayed were restored to their respective flocks, as is 
yearly done yet in several hilly districts. Cattle were 
grazed on Lochnagar as late as 1877 by a Glen Muick 
farmer, whose lease entitled him to that right. On 
Meall na Tionail is a " knap " called " Cnap 
Nathaireachin " (the adder's knap). From this it 
may be inferred that adders were formerly more 
numerous on Lochnagar than they are now. Their 
scarcity has resulted from the regular burning of 
the heather, which is thereby prevented from growing 
to any great height, and consequently affords less 
shelter than formerly. In a recent season, however, 
an adder measuring over four feet in length was 
observed among the heather. White heather, by the 


way, is rather scarce on the summit and by the paths 
on Lochnagar, but it is fairly plentiful in localities that 
obviously need not be pointed out here. 

Resuming the track to the summit from Lochan 
an Eoin, in a little over half-a-mile the tourist will have 
the source of the Glas Allt close to his right. In this 
neighbourhood, at a height of from 3250 to 3500 feet 
above sea level, fir tree roots are to be found. The 
ancient Caledonian Forest, which occupied the greater 
part of the North of Scotland, stretched across all the 
Grampian range of mountains, including Lochnagar. 
In the beginning of the century the timber grown in 
Braemar was famed for its excellent quality. This was 
occasioned by its slow growth, on account of the 
barrenness of the soil and the elevated situation. 

While the mountaineer has the source of a burn 
noted for its "falls" on the right (the Glas Allt), there 
are on the left the sources of the Garbh Allt, a bum 
equally remarkable for its cascades. The highest 
source of the Garbh Allt is a spring a few yards South- 
West of Cac Carn Beag, which peak has been for 
sometime prominently in the view of the mountaineer. 
The spring will be found very conveniently situated 
for the thirsty traveller, and with a very little labour an 
excellent well could be formed. It is not generally 
distinguished by a particular name, but the name 
" Poacher's Well", which the writer heard given to it 
a good many years ago, appears not altogether 
unsuitable. It is told that in the last decade of the 
eighteenth century, two poachers, cousins, were out on 
the White Mounth after ptarmigan in Christmas week. 
The younger man accidentally fell and broke his leg in 
the neighbourhood of the Cac Cams. His cousin left 


him by this well till he should get assistance from the 
vicinity of Balmoral, but by the time help arrived a 
heavy fall of snow had smothered the helpless poacher. 
Shooting ptarmigan and grouse was a favourite form of 
poaching on Lochnagar, and was much engaged in by 
the natives of the glens, mainly from a natural love of 
sport. When the Earl of Aboyne, the head of the 
Gordon family, parted with Abergeldie, including a 
a considerable portion of Lochnagar, he retained the 
right of occasionally shooting on the White Mounth. 
This right was mostly used in the ptarmigan season, 
and was naturally rather inconvenient for the Balmoral 
and Abergeldie estates when the Prince Consort came 
into occupation, and accordingly, it is understood, the 
Marquis of Huntly's right on Lochnagar was bought 

From the source of the Glas Allt the path to the 
summit rises in a North-Easterly direction about 300 
feet, after which the mountaineer will find himself at 
Cac Cam Mor, a quarter-of-a-mile to the North of 
which is Cac Carn Beag. I'his is said to be a com- 
paratively modern name for the highest point of 
Lochnagar, the ancient name being stated to be 
" Tacheern", a word indicating the point where " two 
lairds' lands meet". 


Ye crags and peaks, • 

How high you lift your heads into the sky, 

How huge you are, how mighty and how free ! 

THE mountaineer who has reached the summit of 
Lochnagar will now naturally wish to learn what 
is to be seen from the highest points of the moun- 
tain. The weather is often fickle at such heights, 
even when a cloudless day might be expected ; but 
let it be presumed that the climber has been fortunate, 
and that the atmosphere is clear. Under these con- 
ditions the prospect from the top of Lochnagar is 
wide and pleasant. The extent of the view to the sea 
horizon from the Cac Cairns is about 80 miles ; but 
hill-tops may be seen to a greater distance according 
to their elevation above sea level and the state of the 

The tourist will probably first betake himself to 
Cac Carn Beag, the natural pinnacle-like top that has so 
long towered above him from whatever side of the moun- 
tain the ascent has been made. There, one is almost 
exactly at the centre of the mountainous mass which 
has become known as Lochnagar. The Mither Tap 
(though not the highest point) of Bennachie bears 
pretty much the same relation at a distance to the 
mountain of the Garioch as does the Cac Cam Beag 
to Lochnagar. Standing on the rock which forms the 
culminating point, and looking Dee-wards (to the 


North), the summit of the mountain sinks in an un- 
dulating line along the West side of Glen Gelder 
towards Balmoral Castle and the river. The Castle 
itself is not seen, Craig Gowan intercepting the view. 
To the right is the loch (Lochnagar), hemmed in on 
the East side by the Meikle Pap, which, although over 
3000 feet in height, has now sunk into comparative 
insignificance. Beyond Meikle Pap is the Conach- 
craig range and the glen of the Muick. To the left 
(still facing the Dee) is the other great Corrie of 
Lochnagar, Coire Lochan an Eoin, with its three 
lochlets. The line of the streams that converge from 
this corrie leads the eye over the Falls of Garbh AUt, 
in the direction of Invercauld, while more to the West 
of the corrie are Cairn Taggart and Glen Callater. 
Turning right round, facing the South, the mountaineer 
has the elevated tableland of the White Mounth 
immediately in front. It is drained on the South side 
by the Dubh Loch and the Glas Allt, the loch 
separating peaked Cairn Bannoch and the very 
appropriately named Broad Cairn from the mountain 
on which the tourist has taken his stand. Cuidhe 
Crom and the Little Pap will now be on the left, to 
the South of the Meikle Pap. 

Having thus briefly noticed the immediate sur- 
roundings, so as to enable the mountaineer who has 
made the ascent for the first time to understand 
his position, the writer may direct attention to the 
more distant views. These extend from beyond the 
Moray Firth on the North to beyond the Firth of 
Forth on the South, and from the German Ocean on 
the East almost to the Atlantic on the West. On 
this point there can be no better authority than that 


observant mountaineer Dr. Macgillivray, who, writing 
in 1850, said: — "From it [Cac Cam Beag], as well as 
from some other parts of the summit, is obtained a 
most extensive view of the country around, as far as 
the Lothians, Stirlingshire, the Southern Grampians, 
many of the Perthshire mountains, those of the upper 
extremity of Aberdeenshire, beyond them some of the 
great prominences , of the Counties of Argyle and 
Inverness; ridges and hills even beyond the Moray 
Firth, as well as the lower Eastern tracts, extending 
from thence to Aberdeen, and onwards to the Lammer- 
muirs. The mountains of the adjoining part of 
Forfarshire were much lower, less rugged, and more 
verdant. The Grampians from Aberdeen to Dunkeld 
appeared to form a continuous range, broader to the 
West of Lochnagar, and not affected by the apparently 
insignificant valley of the Dee. . . Viewed from 
this peak, the greater part of the country seems moun- 
tains ". 

The first ascent, of which particular record re- 
mains, was that made in 1810 by the agriculturalist- 
parson, the Rev. George Skene Keith, D.D., minister 
of Keithhall and Kinkell. In addition to writing on 
agriculture — on which subject he was an authority — 
he was a mighty climber of mountains, and a measurer 
of their altitude. It says not a little for his accuracy 
as a mountain-surveyor that he found the height of 
the highest peak of Lochnagar — ^which by the way he 
calls Ca Cuirn — to be " almost exactly 3800 feet", a 
difference of only about 14 feet from that obtained by 
the Royal Engineers with all their costly modern 
scientific instruments. He made a stay of three hours 
on the summit, enjoying a capital view. The party 


had scrambled up " the Ladder" without incident, but 
in the descent several awkward tumbles were made, 
the spirit level being lost, and one gentleman rolling 
down nearly a hundred feet. The reverend gentleman 
'* felt a considerable inflammation in the pleura from 
the great rains and exertions of yesterday", and 
accordingly he considered it judicious to lose about 
eight ounces of blood ! 

Mr. Grierson was also fortunate in his view from 
the summit in 1852. He distinctly saw Ben Nevis 
and Ben Cruachan to the South-West, Schiehallion, Ben 
Lawers, Ben More, the Ochils, the Lomonds, and the 
Pentlands over Ben Arti, close to West Lomond to the 
South. He saw also the Sidlaw Hills, the sea at 
St. Andrews, Montrose, Aberdeen, and the mouth of 
the Moray Firth, Bennachie, Ben Rinnes, and all the 
nearer mountains, with the most of Deeside. 

The lighthouse on the Island of May has, according 
to keepers, been seen from Cac Carn Beag with the 
naked eye. The following mountains within a radius 
of 28 miles are also among those seen from the 
summit — the situation being given only of such of 
them as have not been already particularly mentioned: — 
Mayar (Glen Doll), Beinn a' Ghlo (Glen Tilt), Broad 
Cairn, Mount Blair (between Shee Water and River 
Isla), Glas Maol (between Caimwell and Canlochan), 
Tolmount, Ben lutharn Bheag (Glen Ey), An Sgarsoch 
(Glen Geldie), Morrone, Beinn Bhrotain (on the 
South side of Glen Geusachan), Ben Muich Dhui, 
Cairngorm, Beinn a' Bhuird, Ben Avon, Meall na 
Gaineimh, Culardoch, Brown Cow (near head of 
Strathdon), Corryhabbie (Glen Fiddich), Buck of 
Cabrach (near head of Deveron), Morven, Mount 


Keen, Kerloch (Glen Dye), and Mount Battock 
(between Glen Dye and Glen Esk). 

The far-famed loch, with its encircling precipices, 
is, of course, the principal attraction in the vicinity of 
the summit. The upper parts of the crags are to be 
seen at considerable distances, and in many places the 
precipices are steep enough to send a shudder through 
almost any mountaineer, so that the tourist, whose head 
is not absolutely free from " lightness ", should never 
venture too near the edge. The loch lies at a height 
of 2575 feet above sea level, and covers an area of 32 
acres, the crags above standing at from about 3500 to 
3700 feet above sea level. The precipices seem, in 
some cases, ready to hurl down their rocky pinnacles 
into the loch below. Indeed, some of these pinnacles 
have the appearance of being built up artificially of 
loose blocks, and look 

As if an infant's touch could urge 
Their headlong passage down the verge. 

There are several fissures known as " spouts ", 
between the precipices, which may be descended with 
comparative safety. " The Red Spout " is to the South 
of the loch and may be descended by a party; 
but the "Black Spout" (which may have been 
observed from Glen Muick), nearer Cac Cam 
Beag, will only admit of one person at a time, 
because if there were two, the second man could not 
avoid inadvertently dislodging stones that must fall 
upon the first. The descent to the loch can, 
however, be easily and safely made from Cac Cam 
Beag by keeping the crags well on the right. On 
reaching the lower end of the loch, the ascent may be 


made up the Meikle Pap, towards the beaten path. 
The loch swarms with trout of a very fair size, but 
they are generally stiffish to take, unless a slight 
breeze agitates the water. Permission to fish is of 
course necessary. The trout are so numerous that at 
times the surface of the loch has the appearance of 
"boiling" with them. They were first placed there 
in 1 85 1. Snow is generally found in the gullies above 
the loch till late in the season. As recorded in the 
Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal iox 1830, some 
gentlemen on a geological excursion found here, in 
the month of August, a mass of snow, 30 yards square 
and several feet deep, from its appearance evidently 
a year or two old, the interior being granular like the 
ice of glaciers. 

The Queen's first ascent of Lochnagar was made 
on 1 6th September, 1848, by the Ballochbuie Forest 
and the " Smuggler's Shank". The excursion turned out 
to be by no means of the pleasant nature of Her 
Majesty's later ascents, and indeed had rather a 
disagreeable termination. A brief account of it is 
given in Leaves \ — ** We went through that beautiful* 
wood [Ballochbuie] for about a mile, and then turned 
and began to ascend gradually, the view getting fiper 
and finer; no road, but not bad ground — moss, 
heather, and stones .... The view of Beinn 
a' Bhuird, and indeed of all around, was very beautiful ; 
but as we rose higher we saw mist over Lochnagar 
. . . . It became cold and misty when wt were 
on Lochnagar .... It was quite soft, easy 
walking, and we looked down on two small lochs 
called Lochan an Eoin, which were very striking, 
being so high in the hills . . . The ascent com- 


menced, and with it a very thick fog, and when we 
had nearly reached the top of Lochnagar the mist 
drifted in thick clouds so as to hide everything not 
within a hundred yards of us. Near the peak . . . 
we got off and walked, and climbed up some steep 
stones to a place where we found a seat in a little 
nook, and had some luncheon. But, alas! nothing 
whatever to be seen ; and it was cold and wet and 
cheerless. At about twenty minutes after two we set 
off on our way downwards, the wind blowing a 
hurricane, and the mist being like rain, and everything 
quite dark with it. When we had gone on about an 
hour-and-a-half the fog disappeared like magic, and all 
was sunshine below — about looo feet from the top, I 
should say. Most provoking ! and yet one felt happy 
to see sunshine and daylight again". A side-light 
is thrown on this account by an anonymous writer 
in Taifs Magazine the following year. He states that 
the morning of this ascent of the Queen's was 
particularly fine, although it was the day following 
that upon which himself and others were nearly storm- 
staid on the summit. In the course of the forenoon 
of the day on which Her Majesty made the ascent the 
mist came down very thick on the hills, and after noon 
a heavy drizzling rain b^an to fall in the glens. Con- 
siderable anxiety was felt at Balmoral Castle for the 
Royal party. The Queen had been expected back 
by about one o'clock, but did not reach the Castle 
till after six. There can be no doubt, says this writer, 
that Royalty was literally lost on Lochnagar for part 
of a very disagreeable day, the guides having, accord- 
ing to his statement, lost their way in the thick mist. 
It may thus be seen that even under the most 


auspicious circumstances Lochnagar will at times cause 
trouble and inconvenience to its worshippers. And 
this notwithstanding the &ct already mentioned that 
there is a track across the mountain from Glen 
Muick on the East to Glen Callater on the West 
There is no path, however, between the Cac Cairns — 
Cac Cam Beag lying about a quarter-of-a-mile to the 
North of the track — and this slight deficiency has 
been enough at times to lead the unwary astray. 
More than once the writer has seen parties, on 
descending, thoughtlessly making for the Braemar, in 
place of the Ballater track, or proceeding towards the 
source of the Glas Allt, under the impression that they 
were going directly towards Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge. 
The surest way for strangers is to return from Cac 
Carn Beag to Cac Cam Mor near where the Braemar 
and Ballater tracks meet, and then make a careful 
start for their destination. A caim just below Cac 
Cam Mor guides tourists crossing from the East to 
the West, or vice versa^ the caim being in line with 
what may be described as the through route over 
Lochnagar. The way once thoroughly lost on a 
mountainous mass it is useless to wander backwards 
and forwards, upwards and downwards, in search of 
the track ; the only course left, short of remaining out 
on the spot till daybreak — ^and that is generally to be 
deprecated — is to keep by the first burn that is touched 
on and follow it till a house, or other sure indication 
of the neighbourhood, is reached. A compass, a 
good map, and, if possible, an aneroid should be 
carried; and with ordinary carefulness all risk is 
reduced to a minimum, and the mountains become 
safer than the crowded streets of a city. 


Even experienced hillmen, however, have lost 
their way on Lochnagar ; reference need only be made 
to a party that, a year or two ago, had to spend a 
cheerless night in the open. A start was again made in 
the early morning, but it was not till after several hours' 
walking that the belated mountaineers found that they 
were proceeding along the South Esk ! A not unusual 
hallucination had seized the wanderers at an early 
hour the previous evening — they fancied that their 
compass had gone wrong, and that the needle was 
pointing Southwards ! 

Lochnagar has, moreover, claimed more than one 
life. Just to the North of the loch, on the South-East 
of Meall Coire na Saobhaide (the corrie hill of the 
foxes' den), is the Coire na Saobhaide. Between the 
latter and Cac Carn Beag a man fell down a shelving 
rock some half-dozen years ago and was killed. He 
was engaged at Balmoral as a joiner, and had made 
an excursion to Lochnagar with several companions. 
He had let his knife slip down the rocks, and in 
trying to recover it lost his life. About thirty years 
ago a man threw himself over the precipice above the 
loch, and was of course killed. A clergyman met his 
death a few years ago near Loch Callater ; but his 
was a case of exhaustion following on a weak state of 
health. On the " Smuggler's Shank " there is a stone 
(visible from Cac Cam Beag) erected to the memory 
of a gentleman who died there while out from Inver- 
cauld grouse-shooting. He drank of water near by 
when heated, and did not rise again. The inscription 
runs : — 






Who Died on this spot while out Shooting 

14*!^ September 1843 

Take ye heed^ Watch and Pray :for 
ye know not when the time is. 

MARK XIII, 33 Verse 

About 1830 a party of country folks made the 
ascent of Lochnagar by Loch Muick and Lochan 
Buidhe. The party included a Tarland farmer, who, 
by some means or other, fell over the crags at the 
summit and was killed. An article in Taifs Magazine 
(1849) says: — "The glance downwards to the 
deep, dark tarn at the bottom of these stupendous 
rocks is terrific. With a high wind blowing from the 
West, or a light head, it is dangerous. An over- 
anxious curiosity has proved fatal in more than one 
instance. Not very long ago, an individual in a 
pleasure party, buoyant in spirits, and trusting to a sure 
foot and a steady eye, in utter defiance of remonstrances 
by the guides, went too near the edge, lost his balance, 
and was destroyed ". 

About* three miles East of Ballater, on the South 
side of the Dee, is the farm of Ballaterach, near where 
the Pollagach Burn enters the Dee. Here Lord 
Byron spent some of the early years of his life, the 
recollection of which, according to his own statement, 
gave birth to his stanzas on Lochnagar (quoted below). 


He alludes, in the fourth stanza, to his "maternal 
ancestors, *the Gordons*, many of whom fought for 
the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the 
name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly 
allied by blood, as well as attachment, to the Stewarts. 
George, the second Earl of Huntly, married the 
Princess Annabella Stewart, daughter of James the 
First of Scotland. By her he left four sons : the third. 
Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as 
one of my progenitors". The young poet's wooden 
" box-bed " was shewn at Ballaterach until a few years 
ago, when it was accidentally burned. 


Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses ! 

In you let fhe minions of luxury rove ; 
Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake reposes, 

Though still they are sacred to freedom and love : 
Yet, Caledonia, beloved are thy mountains, 

Round their white summits though elements war ; 
Though cataracts foam 'stead of smooth-flowing fountains, 

I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar. 

Ah ! there my young footsteps in infancy wander'd ; 

My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid ; 
On chieftains long perish'd my memory ponder'd, 

As daily I strode through the pine-cover'd glade. 
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory 

Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star ; 
For fancy was cheer'd by traditional story. 

Disclosed by the natives of dark Lochnagar. 

** Shades of the dead ! have I not heard your voices 
Rise on the night-roUing breath of the gale"? 
Surely the soul of the hero rejoices, 
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale. 


Round Lochnagar while the stormy mist gathers, 

Winter presides in his cold icy car : 
Clouds there encircle the forms of my fathers ; 

They dwell in the tempests of dark Lochnagar. 

"lU-starr'd, though brave, did no visions foreboding 

Tell you that fate had forsaken your cause " ? 
Ah ! were you destined to die at CuUoden, 

Victory crowned not your fall with applause : 
Still were you happy in death's earthy slumber, 

You rest with your clan in the caves of Braemar ; 
The pibroch resounds, to the piper's loud number. 

Your deeds on the echoes of dark Lochnagar. 

Years have rolled on, Lochnagar, since I left you. 

Years must elapse ere I tread you again : 
Nature of verdure and flow'rs has bereft you. 

Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain. 
England ! thy beauties are tame and domestic 

To one who has roved o'er the mountains afar : 
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic ! 

The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar ! 

The Author desires to express his acknowledgments 
to the Proprietors of the Peoples Journal for the 
use of the Zinco-blocks for the illustrations given in the 
preceding pages. " Lochnagar" appeared in serial form 
in that paper during the summer of 1891, but has been 
considerably extended and carefully revised for this 



The adamantine rock, the fragile flower, 
The equal work of an Almighty power. 


( Communicated, ) 

LOCHNAGAR, with the hills and lower tracts of 
country immediately around it, consists of granite, 
which is continued on the range of hills on the South 
side of the Dee for about 30 miles to the East This 
granite tract in Braemar is flanked on the North, the 
West, and the South by other rocks, such as gneiss, 
mica-slate, quartzite, limestone, &c. ; and some of these 
rocks intervene between the two granite tracts of Loch- 
nagar and the Cairngorms. 

The following paragraphs have been compiled from 
the authorities quoted, and from the facts given much 
can be learned, in studying carefully the superficial 
rock phenomena of Lochnagar and vicinity, of the 
principles of geology, physical and chemical. 

According to Professor W. Macgillivray, LL.D. 
(in his Natural History of Deeside and Braemar^ a 
work printed in 1855 soon after his death, by command 
of the Queen, for private circulation, and to which we 
have more than once had occasion to refer), Lochnagar 
rises majestically above all other mountains on the 
South side of the Dee, and has more dignity than any 
other Scottish mountain except Ben Nevis. Along 
with its projections and dependencies, some extending 


miles into the surrounding tract, it consists of granite, 
rather coarse-grained, reddish, with a little mica. 
The felspar is pale flesh-coloured, in irregular con- 
cretions or imperfect crystals; the quartz, dark brownish 
grey; and the mica, brownish black, in very small 
scales. The granite is similar to that composing 
the Cairngorm or Monadh Ruadh (red) mountains. 
The rock is easily frangible, and has decomposed 
very extensively in the abrupt crags of the corries 
of the mountain. In the great precipice the fissures 
of the rock are nearly vertical, with transverse 
rents, giving the appearance of stratification; while 
the rude parallel horizontal joints of the weathered 
rock look like cyclopean masonry. It is only in the 
upper ruin-like parts that the rock is thus split into 
tabular fragments or plates. Further down it is more 
distinctly fissured, and on the unbroken surface of the 
upper part of the mountain it is solid and massive. 
The aspect of the precipice viewed from the base of 
its talus near the lake is singular and most imposing, 
the rock being fissured by perpendicular chasms, and 
having a vast accumulation of enormous blocks near 
the base. 

Some of the tremendous granite precipices, says 
Mr. T. F. Jamieson, F.G.S. (in the Quarterly Journal 
of the Geological Society^ i860), so common in the 
Central Highlands of Braemar, and mostly on the 
Eastern flanks of the higher mountains, as in the case 
of Lochnagar, rear a vertical front of 1000 or even 
1500 feet above their base, which is often 2200 or 
2500 feet above the sea. The rocks and corries of 
these Highland mountains remind one of the iron- 
bound coast so well depicted by Professor Forbes in 


"Norway and its Glaciers". They resemble ancient 
sea cliffs in a sea full of floating icebergs. 

Lochnagar (says Sir Archibald Geikie, Director- 
General of the Geological Survey of the United King- 
dom, in his Scenery of Scotland^ 1887) shows how frost 
splits solid rocks into separate blocks, and how it 
disintegrates their surface by the freezing of water 
between their particles. The grim precipice, nearly a 
mile long, and 300 to 500 feet in vertical depth, 
yawns below as we look from the crest of the moun- 
tain N.N.E. into the valley of the Dee. There, 
sheltered from the sun, the snow lingers long into the 
summer, and frost finds its congenial home. Inch by 
inch the vertical joints of the granite of the precipice 
are being opened further into the face of the cliff. 
Along the edge can be seen the process in all its 
stages, the fine rift just starting like a crack in a 
window pane up to the loose pillar, now standing 
gaunt and alone in front awaiting its eventful hurl into 
the gulf below. Far down between the base of the 
precipice and the little tarn, which lies gleaming in the 
shade of the mountain, can be seen the grey slopes, 
encumbered with debris, which appear from the height 
of the spectator mere trails of sand, but they are 
really avalanches of granite blocks, many of them 
hundreds of tons in weight, now travelling slowly to 
the plains, still a prey to rain and frost, sun and 
storm, and slowly breaking up into loose fragments as 
they descend. 

Portions of the felspar of the granite debris, by the 
action of air and water containing oxygen and car- 
bonic acid, are decomposed. The alkali in the 
mineral is dissolved out, leaving a powdery substance 


called kaolin, the basis of clay, and composed of 
silicate of alumina. The more indestructible quartz 
grains fall apart to form the coarse sand on the hill, 
the grains being about the size of swan shot No. i., 
partridge shot, and sparrow hail. The qu^tz particles, 
with those of the felspar, which resist chemical action, 
will in time, by attrition in running water, be reduced 
to fine sand grains in their course down the Dee, and 
be finally washed ashore on the Aberdeen beach, and 
blown inland by the wind on the already existing 
sand dunes along the coast. 

The top of Lochnagar (continues Sir Archibald 
Geikie) at a level of 3500 feet above the sea, is one 
of those remarkable flat-topped moorlands which, in 
the Eastern Grampians, rise to 3000-4000 feet above 
the sea. It is a broad undulating moorland upwards 
of a mile-and-a-half long, gently sloping Southward to 
Loch Muick, and ending in the North at the edge of a 
range of granite precipices, at the base of which is one 
of those moraine tarns, or small sheets of water like 
those around the Cairngorm mountains, which have 
been ponded back by some of the vast masses of 
angular rubbish disengaged by frost and ordinary 
atmospheric waste from cliffs, crags, and steep slopes, 
falling on glaciers, and sped by them as they melted 
away in their final disappearance. Such tarns occur 
in hundreds in the Scottish Highlands, generally at 
the head of the glens or at the mouths of corries. 

According to Mr. Lionel Hinxman, B.A., of the 
Geological Survey of Scotland, an interesting feature 
connected with Lochnagar is the stream of moraines 
issuing from the great corrie, and flowing over the 
lesser hills down into Glen Muick at Birkhall. 





By John Roy^ LL.D,^ Aberdeen, 

( 77ie Species are arranged under their Classes and Natural 

Class. I. — Dicotyledonous or Exogenous 
Flowering Plants. 

Ranunculacese — 

Thalictrum alpinum^ L., Alpine Meadow Rue. 

Anemone nemorosa^ L., Wood Anemone. 

Ranunculus peltatus, Fr., Water Crowfoot. 

R. heterophyllus^ Sibth., Water Crowfoot. 

R, hederaceus, L., Ivy Crowfoot. 

R, Flammula, L., Small Spearwort. 

R, auricomuSy L., Wood Crowfoot. 
- R, acris^ L., Upright Meadow Crowfoot, Butter- 

/?. repens^ L., Creeping Crowfoot. 

Caltha palustris^ L., Common Marsh Marigold. 

Trollius EuropceuSy L., Mountain Globe-Fiower. 

Aquilegia vulgaris^ L., Common Columbine. 
Fumariaceae — 

Fumaria officinalis, L., Common Fumitory. 
Cniciferae — 

Arahis petrcea, De Cand., Alpine Rock Cress. 

A, hirsuta, Br., Hairy Rock Cress. 

Cardamine pratensis, L., Common Bitter Cress, 
Ladies' Smock, Cuckoo-flower. 


C hirsuta^ L., Hairy Bitter Cress. 
Nasturtium officinale^ Br., Common Water Cress. 
CochUaria officinalis^ L., Common Scurvy Grass. 
Draba vema^ L., Common Whitlow Grass. 
Teesdalia nudicaulis^ Br., Naked Stalked Tees- 

Sisymbrium Thalianum, Hooker, Thale Hedge 

Subularia aquatica^ L., Water Awl-Wort. Rare. 
Capsella Bursa Pastotis^ De Cand., Common 

Shepherd's Purse. 
Lepidium Smithii^ Hooker, Mithridate Pepper 

Sinapis arvensis, L., Charlock Mustard. 
Raphanus Raphanistrum, L.,Wild Radish. Jointed 


Cistacese — 

Helianthemum vulgare, Gaert., Common Rock 
Violaceae — 

Viola palustriSy L., Marsh Violet. 

V, canina^ L.(K Riviniana^ Reich.), Dog's Violet. 

F. tricolor y L., Pansy Violet or Heartsease. 

F. lutea^ Hudson, Yellow Mountain Violet. 

Droseraceae — 

Drosera rotundifolia, L., Round-leaved Sundew. 
Z>. anglicay Hudson, Great English Sundew. 

Parnassia palustris, L., Common Grass of Par- 
Polygalaceae — 

Poly gala vulgaris^ L., Common Milkwort. 


Elatinacese — 

Elatine hexandra^ De Cand., Hexandrous Water- 
wort, Water-pepper. Very Rare. 
Caryophyllaceae — 

Silene acaulis^ L., Moss Campion, Dwarf Silene. 

S, inflata^ Smith, Bladder Campion. 

5. tnaritimay With., Sea Campion. 

Lychnis Flos-cuculi^ L., Ragged Robin, Meadow 

Z. diuma, Sibth., Red Campion. 

Sagina procumbensy L., Procumbent Pearl-wort. 

5. saxatiiisy Wimm., Alpine Pearl-wort. 

5. subulata, Wimm., Awl-leaved Pearl-wort. 

S. nodosa^ L., Knotted Pearl-wort. 

Arenaria serpyUifolia^ L., Thyme-leaved Sand- 

Stellaria media, With., Common Chickweed. 

5. hoiostea, L., Greater Stitchwort. 

S. graminea^ L., Narrow-leaved Stitchwort. 

S. uliginosa^ Murr., Bog Stitchwort. 

Cerastium triviaky Link., Mouse-ear Chickweed. 

C. glomeratum^ Thuil., Mouse-ear Chickweed. 

C alpinum^ L., Hairy Alpine Chickweed. 

Paronychiaceae — 

Spergula arvensis, L., Com Spurrey. 

Spergularia rubra^ St. Hilaire, Field Spurrey. 
Linaceae — 

Linutn cathartieum^ L., Purging Flax. 

Hjrpericaceae — 

Hypericum puichrum^ L, Small upright St. John^s 

H. hirsutum^ L., Hairy St John's Wort. 


Geraniacese — 

Geranium sylvaticumy L., Wood Crane's Bill. 

G, pratense^ L., Blue Meadow Crane's Bill. 

G, Robertianum^ L., Herb Robert. 

G. Molle, L., Dove's-foot Crane's Bill 

G, dissecium^ L., Jagged or cut-leaved Crane's 
Oxalidacese — 

Oxalis Acetosella^ L., Common Wood Sorrel. 
Aquifoliaceae — 

Ilex aquifolium^ L., Holly. 

Leguminosse — 

Ulex Europceus^ L., Furze, Whin or Gorse. 

Genista Anglica, L., Needle Gorse, Petty Whin. 

Spartium scoparium^ L., Common Broom. 

Anthyllis Vulneraria^ L., Common Kidney-vetch. 

Trifolium repens^ L., White Trefoil or Dutch 

T, pratense^ L., Purple Clover. 

T, medium^ L., Zigzag Clover. 

Zofus corniculatus^ L., Common Bird's-foot Tre- 

Vicia sepium, L., Bush Vetch. 

V. Cracca, I.., Tufted Vetch. 

V. sylvatica, L., Wood Vetch. 

Lathyrus pratensis, L., Meadow Vetchling. 

Z. macrorrhizus^ Wimm., Tuberous Vetchling. 

Lupinus perennis, L., Lupin. 

Rosaceae — 

Frunus communis, Hudson, Common Plum. 

P, Padus, L., Bird Cherry. 

Spircea Uimaria, L., Meadow-sweet 


Dryas octopetala^ L., White Dryas. Rare. 

Gtum rivale, L., Water Avens. 

G. urbanum^ L., Common Avens. Rare. 

Ruhus Idceus^ L., Common Raspberry. 

R. saxatilis^ L., Stone Bramble. 

R. Chamcemorus, L., Mountain Bramble or Cloud- 

Fragaria vesca^ L., Wood Strawberry. 

Comarum palustre^ L., Purple Marsh Cinque-foil. 

Potentilla anserina, L., Silver-weed Cinque-foil. 

F. alpestrisy Hal., Orange Alpine Cinque-foil. 

F, Tormentilla, Sibth., Tormentill. 

F, Sibbaldia, L., Procumbent Cinque-foil. 

Alchemilla vulgaris^ L., Common Lady's Mantle. 

A, alpina, L., Alpine Lady's Mantle. 

A, arvensis, Sm., Field Lady's Mantle. 

Rosa spinosissima^ L., Burnet-leaved Rose. 

R. tomentosa^ Sm., Downy-haired Rose. 

R, villosa^ L., Villous Rose. 

R, mollis^ Sm., Soft Rose. 

R. caninQy L., Dog-Rose, including many so-called 

Fyrus Aucuparia, Gaert., Rowan-tree. 

Onagracese — 

Epilobium angustifolium^ L., Rose-bay Willow- 

E, monianum, L., Mountain Willow-herb. 

E, obscurum^ Schreb., Square-stalked Willow-herb. 

E, palustre^ L., Marsh Willow-herb. 

E, alsinifolium^ L., Chickweed-leaved Willow- 

E, alpinum^ L., Alpine Willow-herb. 


Haloragaceae — 

Mynophyllum altemiflorum^ De Cand., Water- 
Portulaceae — 

Montia fontana^ L., Water Blinks. 
Crassulacese — 

Sedum Rhodiola^ De Cand., Rose-root Stonecrop. 

5. villosutfiy L., Hairy Stonecrop. 

Saxifragaceae — 

Saxifraga stellarisy L., Starry Saxifrage. 

S. nivalis, L., Alpine-clustered Saxifrage. Rare. 

5. oppositifolia, L., Purple Mountain Saxifrage. 

5. rivularis, L., Alpine Brook Saxifrage. Rare. 

5. aizoides, L., Yellow Mountain Saxifrage. 

S. hypnoideSy L., Mossy Saxifrage. 

Chrysosplenium oppositifoium, L., Common 
Golden Saxifrage. 
Umbelliferae — 

Sanicula Europcea, L., Wood Sanicle. 

Pimpinella saxifraga, L., Common Burnet- 

Bunium flexiiosum. With., Common Earth-nut 

Meum athamanticum, Jacq., Bald Money, High- 
land Micken. 

Angelica sylvestris, L., Wild Angelica. 

Heracleum sphondylium, L., Common Cow-Par- 

Anthriscus syhestris, Koch, Wild Beaked-Parsley. 
Cornaceae — 

Cornus suecica, L., Dwarf Cornel. 
Araliaceae — 

Adoxa Moschatellina, L., Tuberous Moschatell. 


Caprifoliacese — 

Lonkera Penclymenum^ L., Common Honeysuckle 

or Woodbine. 
Linnaa borealis^ Gronov, Two-flowered Linnasa. 
Rubiaceae — 

Galium verum^ L., Yellow Bed-straw. 
G, saxatiUy L., Smooth Heath Bed-straw. 
G, palustrty L., White Water Bed-straw. 
G. bareaky L., Cross-leaved Bed-straw. 
Sherardia arvensis, L., Blue Field-madder. 
Asperuia odorata^ L., Sweet Woodruff. 
Valerianaceae — 

Valeriana officinalis^ L., Great wild Valerian. 
Dipsaceae — 

Scabiosa succisa^ L., DeviFs-bit Scabious. 
Compositae — 

Apargia autumnalis, Willd, Autumnal Hawk-bit. 
Hypochaeris radicata, L., Long-rooted CatVear. 
Mulgedium alpinum^ Less., Alpine Blue Sow- 

Thistle. Very Rare. 
Crepis paludosa^ Moench, Marsh Hawk's Beard 
Sonchus aruensis, L., Corn Sow-Thistle. 
Ltontodon Taraxaaim^ L, Common Dandelion. 
Hieracium Pilosella^ L., Common Mouse-ear 

H, alpinum, L., Alpine Hawk-weed. 
H. holosericeum^ Back., Silky Hawk-weed. Rare. 
H, calenduliflorum^ Back., Marigold Hawk-weed. 

H, nigrescensy Willd., Black-haired Hawk-weed. 
H, senescenSy Back., Gray Hawk-weed. 
H, chrysanthuniy Back., and var. micranthum 

Back., Golden-flowered Hawk-weed. 


H, anglicum^ Fr., English Hawk-weed. 
H, Iricuniy Fr., Irish Hawk-weed. 
H, argenteum^ Fr., Silvery Hawk-weed. 
H, muroruniy L., Wall Hawk-weed. 
H. vulgatum^ Fr., Common Hawk-weed. 
H, prenanthoides, L., Rough-bordered Hawk- 
weed. Rare. 

If, corymbosum, Fr., Clustered Hawk-weed. 
Lapsana communis^ L., Common Nipple-wort. 
Saussurea alpina^ De Cand., Alpine Saussurea. 

Carduus crispus, L., Curled-leaved Thistle. Rare. 
Cnicus lanceolatus^ Willd., Spear Plume Thistle. 
C palustris, Willd., Marsh Plume Thistle. 
C arvensis, Hoffm., Creeping Plume Thistle. 
C. heterophylluSy Willd., Melancholy Plume 

Centaur ea nigra^ L., Black-discoid Knap-weed. 
C Cyanus^ L., Corn Blue-bottle. 
Artemisia vulgaris^ L., Common Mugwort 
Antennaria dioica^ Gaert., Mountain Everlasting. 
Gnaphalium sylvaticum^ L., Highland Cudweed. 
G. Norvegicum^ Gunn, Norwegian Cudweed. 

Very Rare. 
G, supinum^ L., Dwarf Cudweed. 
Filago minima^ Pers., Least Filago. 
Tussilago Farfara^ L., Colt's-foot. 
Solidago Virga aurea^ L., Common Golden-rod. 
Senecio vulgaris^ L., Common Groundsel. 
S. Jacohcea^ L., Common Ragwort. 
5. aquaticuSy Hudson, Marsh Ragwort. 
Bellis perennisy L., Common Daisy. 


Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum^ L., Great White 

C segetum^ L., Corn Marigold or Yellow Ox-eye. 

Matricaria inodora^ L., Scentless Feverfew. 

Achiiicea millefolium^ L., Common Yarrow. 

A, Ptarmica^ L., Sneeze-wort. 
Campanulaceas — 

Campanula rotundifoliay L., Harebell. 
Lobeliaceae — 

Lobelia Dortmanna^ L., Water Lobelia. 
Vacciniaceae — 

Vaccinium Myrtillus^ L., Blaeberry. 

V. uliginosum^ L., Bog Whortleberry. 

V. Vitis Idcea^ L., Red Whortleberry, Cranberry 
of this district. 

V, OxycoccoSy L., Marsh Whortleberry, Cranberry. 
Ericaceae — 

Erica Tetralix, L., Cross-leaved Heath. 

E, cinerea^ L., Fine-leaved Heath. 

Calluna vulgaris^ Salisb., Common Ling, Heather. 

Loiseleuria procumbenSy Desv., Trailing Azalea. 

Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi^ Sprengel, Black Bear- 
Pyrolacese — 

Pyrola secunda^ L., Serrated Winter-green. 

P, rotundifolia^ L., Round-leaved Winter-green. 
Very rare. 

P, media^ Swartz, Intermediate Winter-green. 

P. minor^ L., Less Winter-green. 
Gentianacese — 

Gentiana campestris^ L., Field Gentian. 

Menyanthes trifoliata^ L., Buckbean. 



Boraginaceae — 

Myosotis rtptnsy Don, Creeping Water Scorpion- 
M, ceBspitosGy Schultz, Tufted Water Scorpion- 

M, arvensis, Hoffm., Field Scorpion grass. 
M, versicolor^ Lehm., Yellow and Blue Scorpion- 
Scrophulariaceae — 

Veronica serpyllifolia^ L., and var. humifusa, 

Dickson, Thyme-leaved Speedwell. 
V, aipinuy L., Alpine Speedwell Rare. 
V. scuiellata^ L., Marsh Speedwell. 

V. Beccahunga^ L., Brooklime. 

V. cfficinalis^ L., Common Speedwell. 

V. Chamcedrys^ L., Germander Speedwell. 

V, hederifolia^ L,, Ivy-leaved Speedwell. 

V. agrestis^ L., Field Speedwell. 

V. arvensis, L., Wall Speedwell. 

Euphrasia officinalis^ L., Common Eyebright. 

Rhinanthus Crista-galli^ L., Common Yellow- 

Melnmpyrum pratense^ L., Common Yellow Cow- 

M, sylvaiicum^ L., Lesser-flowered Yellow Cow- 

Pedicularis palustris^ L., Marsh Louse-wort. 

P. sylvaiicay L., Pasture Louse-wort. 

Scrophularia nodosa^ L., Knotted Figwort. 

Digitalis purpurea^ L., Purple Foxglove. 
Labiatse — 

Mentha arvensis^ L., Field Mint. 

Thymus Serpyllutn, L., Wild Thyme. 


Teucrium Scorodonia^ L., Wood Germander. 

Ajuga reptans^ L., Common Bugle. 

Galeopsis Tetrahity L., Common Hemp-nettle. 

G, versicolor, Curtis, Large-flowered Hemp-nettle. 

Lamium purpureuniy L., Purple Dead-nettle. 

L. amplexicaule, L., Henbit-netde. 

Stocky s sylvatica^ L., Wood Woundwort. 

S. palustris, L., and var. ambiguay Marsh Wound- 

Nepeta Gkchomay Benth., Common Ground-Ivy. 

Calatnintha Clinopodiuniy Benth., Common Wild 
Basil. Rare. 

Prunella vulgaris , L., Common Self-heal. 
I.entibulariacese — 

Finguicula vulgaris^ L., Common Butterwort. 

Utricularia vulgaris^ L., Greater Bladder wort. 
Primulaceae — 

Primula vulgaris^ Hudson, Common Primrose. 

P, verisy L., Common Cowslip. 

Trientalis Europcea, L., European Chickweed 

Lysimachia netnoruniy L., Wood Loose-strife. 
Plumbaginaceae — 

Armeria maritima^ Willd., Common Sea-pink. 
Plantaginacese — 

Plantago maj^r^ L., Greater Plantain. 

P, lanceolata, L., Ribwort Plantain. 

P. maritimay L., Sea-side Plantain. 
Chenopodiaceae — 

Chenopodium album, L., White Goose-foot. 
Scleranthaceae — 

Scleranthus annuus, L., Annual Knawel. 


Polygonaceae — 

Polygonum viviparum^ L., Viviparous Bistort. 

P, Aviculare^ L., Common Knot-grass. 

P, Convolvulus^ L., Climbing Polygonum. 

P, Persicaria^ L., Spotted Polygonum. 

Rumex crispus^ L., Curled Dock. 

R, obtusifoliusy L., Blunt-leaved Dock. 

R, aquaticus^ L., Grainless Water Dock. 

R. Acetosa^ L., Common Sorrel. 

-/?. Acetosella, L., Sheep's Sorrel. 

Oxyrta reniformis^ Hooker, Kidney-leaved 
Empetracese — 

Empetrum nigrum, L., Black Crowberry. 
Ruphorbiaceae — 

Mercurialis perennisy L., Perennial or Dog's 

Euphorbia Helioscopia^ L., Sun Spurge. 

E, Peplus, L., Petty Spurge. 
Callitrichacese — 

Callitricke stagnalis, Scop., Starwort. 

C. vema, L., Vernal Water Starwort. 

C. hamulata, Kg., Starwort. 

C, autumnaliSy L., Starwort. Rare. 
Urticaceae — 

Urtica urens^ L., Small Nettle. 

U, dioica, L., Common Nettle. 
Myricaceae — 

Myrica Gale, L., Sweet Gale, Bog Myrtle. 
Betulaceae — 

Betula glutinosa, Fr., Common Birch. 

B. nana, L., Dwarf Birch. Common between 
2000-3000 feet altitude. 


Ainus glutinosa, Gaert., Common Alder. 
Salicaceae — 

Saiix Caprea^ L., Great Round-leaved Willow. 

S. aurita^ L., Round-leaved Willow. 

S, Lapponuffij L., Downy Willow. 

S, repensy L., Creeping Willow. 

5. nigricans^ Sm., Dark-leaved Willow. 

S. herbacea^ L., Least Willow. 

aS. reticulata^ L., Reticulated Willow. Rare. 

Populus tremula^ L., Trembling Poplar or Aspen. 
Cupuliferse — 

Quercus Robur^ L., Common British Oak. 

Corylus Aveiiana^ L., Common Hazel. 
Coniferae — 

Finns sylvestris^ L., Scotch Fir. 

Juniperus communis^ L.,and var. nana^ L.,Common 

Class II. — Monocotyledonous or Endogenous 

Flowering Plants. 
Orchidacese — 

Malaxis paludosa^ Sw., Ejog Orchis. 

Listera ovata, Br., Common Tway-blade. 

Z. Nidus-aviSy Rich., Bird's-nest Orchis. Very 

Z. cardata^ Br., Heart-leaved Tway-blade. 

Goody era repens, Br., Creeping Goodyera. 

Orchis maculata, L., Spotted palmate Orchis. 

Gymnadenia conopsea^ Br., Fragrant Gymnadenia. 

G. albida. Rich., Whitish Gymnadenia. 

Habenaria viridis^ Br., Green Habenaria. 

H. chlorantha^ Bab., Great Habenaria. 


Juncacese — 

/uncus communis^ Meyen, Common Rush. 

/, triglutniSy L., Three-flowered Rush. 

/ trifidus, L., Trifid Rush. 

J. acutiflorus^ Ehrh., Sharp-flowered Rush. 

J, lamprocarpuSy Ehrh., Shining-fruited Rush. 

J, nigritellus, D. Don, Black-headed Rush. 

y. supinus^ Moench., Upward Rush. 

J. squarrosus^ L., Heath Rush. 

J. bufonius, L., Toad Rush. 

Luzula sylvatica^ Bich., Great Hairy Wood-Rush. 

Z. pilosa^ Willd., Broad-leaved Hairy Wood-Rush. 

Z. campestris^ Willd., Field Wood-Rush. 

Z. multiflora^ Lej., Many-flowered W^ood-Rush. 

Z. spicata^ De Cand., Spiked mountain Wood- 

Z. arcuata. Hooker, Curved mountain Wood- 
Rush. Very rare. 

Nartheciuni ossifragum, Hudson, Bog-Asphodel. 

Juncaginaceae — 

Triglochin palustre^ L., Marsh Arrow-grass. 
Typhaceae — 

Sparganium minimum^ Fr., Small Bur-Reed. 
Naiadacese — 

Pbtamogeton lucens^ L., Shining Pondweed. 

P, heterophy litis ^ Schreb., Various-leaved Pond- 

P, natans, L., Sharp-pointed Broad-leaved Pond- 

P. polygonifolius^ Pourr., Many-angled Pond-weed. 
Cyperaceae — 

Schmius nigricans^ L., Black Bog-rush. 


Rhyncospora alba, Vahl, White-beak-rush. Ver>' 

Elcocharis palustris, R. Br., Creeping Spike-rush. 

Isolepts setacea, R. Br., Bristle-stalked Mud-rush. 

Scirpus pauciflorus, Lightf, Few-flowered Club- 

S. oBspitosuSy L., Scaly-stalked Club-rush. 

Eriophorum vaginatum, L., Hare-tail Cotton- 

E, angusHfolium, Roth., Narrow-leaved Cotton- 

Carex dioica, L., Dioecious Carex or Sedge. 

C. pulicaris, L., Flea Carex. 

C paudflora, Lightf., Few-flowered Carex. 

(7. kporina, L., Hare's-foot Carex. 

(7. helvola, Blytt., Pale red Carex. Very rare. 

C, lagopina^ Wahl, Hare's-foot Carex. Very rare. 

C canescens^ L., White Carex. 

C stellulata^ Good., Prickly-headed Carex. 

C. atrata, L., Black Carex. 

C vulgaris, Fr., Common Carex. 

C. rigida. Good., Rigid Carex. 

C, flava, L., Yellow Carex. 

C, Oederi, Ehrh., Oeder's Carex. 

C.fulva, Good., Tawny Carex. 

C binervis, Sm., Green-ribbed Carex. 

C. vaginata, Tausch., Short brown-spiked Carex. 

C, panicea, L., Pink-leaved Carex. 

C. pallescens, L., Pale Carex. 

C captllaris, L., Dwarf capillary Carex. 

C. rariflora, Sm., Loose-flowered Carex. 

C, glauca. Scop., Glaucous Heath Carex. 


C pracoxy Jacq., Vernal Carex. 

C. piiulifera, L., Round-headed Carex, 

C, ampullacea^ Good., Slender-beaked Bottle 

Graminese — 

Anihoxanthum odoratum, L., Sweet-scented 

Nardus strictay L., Common Mat-grass. 
Alopecurus pratensisy L., Meadow Fox-tail-grass. 
A, alpinuSy Sm., Alpine Fox-tail-grass. Rare. 
A, geniculatusy L., Kneed Fox-tail-grass. 
PMcum alpinuniy L., Alpine Cat's-tail-grass. Very 

CalamagrosHs Epigejos^ Roth., Wood Small-reed. 

Very rare. 
Agrostis vulgarisy With., Fine Bent-grass. 
Aira ccespitosa^ L., Tufted Hair-grass. 
A. alpinuy L., Smooth Alpine Hair-grass. Very 

A.flexuosa^ L., Waved Hair-grass. 
A, setacea^ Hudson., Bristle-stalked Hair-grass. 
A, caryophylUay L., Silvery Hair-grass. 
A, pracoxy L., Early Hair-grass. 
Molinia cceruleay Moench, Purple Molinia. 
Melica nutanSy L., Mountain Melic-grass. 
Hokus mollisy L., Creeping Soft-grass. 
H, lanatusy L., Meadow Soft-grass. 
Koeleria cristatay Pers., Crested Koeleria. 
Poafluitansy Scop.^ Floating Meadow-grass. 
P, pratensisy L., Smooth-stalked Meadow-grass. 
P, triviaiisy L., Rough Meadow-grass. 
P. alpifMy L., Alpine Meadow-grass. Rare. 
P, laxQy Hoenke, Wavy Meadow-grass. Very rare. 


P, minor^ Gaud., Smaller Meadow-grass. Very 

P. mmoralisy L., Wood Meadow-grass. 

P, annua, L., Annual Meadow-grass. 

Triodia decumbenSy Beauv., Decumbent Heath- 

Briza media^ L., Common Quaking-grass. 

Dadylis ghnuratay L., Rough Cock's-foot-grass. 

Cynosurus cristatuSy L., Crested Dog's-tail-grass. 

Festuca bromoidesy Sm., Barren Fescue-grass. 

R ovina^ L., Sheep's Fescue-grass. 

Bromus commutatuSy Schrad., Altered Brome- 

B. tnollisy L., Soft Brome-grass. 

Avena pratensis^ L., and var. alpina^ Sm., Narrow- 
leaved Perennial Oat. 

A. elatiory L., False Oat-grass. 

Triticum repens, L., Creeping Wheat or Couch- 

Lolium perennCy L., Perennial or Beardless Rye- 

Class III. — Acotyledonous or Cellular Plants. 
Polypodiaceae — 

Poiypadium vulgarty L., Common Polypody. 

P, Phegopterisy L., Pale Mountain Polypody. 
Beech Fern. 

P, DryopteriSy L., Tender Three-branched Poly- 
pody. Oak Fern. 

P.alpestrty Hoppe, Alpine Polypody. Rare. 

Aspidium LonchitiSy Sw., Rough Alpine Shield- 
fern. Holly Fern. Rare. 


A. Oreopteris^ Sw., Heath Shield-fern. 

A, FiliX'tnaSy Sw., Blunt Shield-fern. Male Fern. 

A, dilatatum, Willd., Prickly Shield-fern. 

Cystopteris fragilis^ Bernh., Brittle Bladder-fern. 

Asplenium septentrionale, Hull., Forked Spleen - 
wort. Very rare. 

A. Ruta-muraria, L., Wall-rue Spleen-wort. 

A, TrichomaneSy L., Common Wall Spleen-wort. 

A. viride, Hudson, Green lanceolate Spleen-wort. 

A, Adiantum-nigrum, L., Black-stalked Spleen- 

A, FiltX'fosmina, Bernh., Short-fruited Spleen- 
wort. Lady Fern. 

Pterts aquilina^ L., Common Brake-fern. 

Cryptogramme crispa^ Br., Parsley Fern. 

Blechnutn boreale, Sw., Northern Hard-fern. 
Ophioglossaceae — 

Botrychium Lunaria, Sw., Common Moon-wort. 
Lycopodiaceae — 

Lycopodium clavatum^ L., Common Club-moss. 

Z. annotinum^ L., Interrupted Club-moss. Rare. 

Z. selaginoides^ L. , Lesser Club-moss. 

Z. aipinum, L., Savin-leaved Club-moss. 

Z. Selago, L., Fir Club-moss. 
Marsiliaceae — 

Isoetes lacustrisy L. , European Quill-wort 
Equisetaceese — 

Equisetum praiense, Ehrh., Meadow Horse-tail. 

E, arvensty L., Field Horse-tail. 

E. syivaticum, L., Branched Wood Horse-tail. 

E, limosum, L., Smooth Naked Horse-tail. 

E. palustre, L., Marsh Horse-tail. 



By the Author of '^ The Rival Giants ", 
" The Key o' Bennachie ", ^c, 


The Lady Anne was good and true, 

And fair as fair could be ; 
Her face revealed not grief nor care, 

Sweet as a flower was she. 

She knew not the River of Woe — 
Oh, sad, and joyless theme ! 

And to her the Stream of Sorrow 
Was but an empty dream. 

Her cheek was like the blush-red rose ; 

And on her lips, a smile 
Lit up her face, Madonna-like — 

A face all free from guile. 

Her eyes, sweet mirrors to her soul, 
Shone clear, like beacons bright ; 

No mariner in wildest storm 
Would pray for truer light. 

In her ear "the old, old story " 

Of young, unsulUed love 
Was breathed by one of gentle blood, 

Who fain his troth would prove. 

Oh, lithe of form and limb was he, 
An arm both sure and strong ; 

His sword ne'er rusted in its sheath, 
But leaped to right the wrong ! 

And he has vowed his love is true. 
But she, with doubts and fears, 

Ties her silk scarf about his arm, 
And whispers through her tears : 


•* A flower grows by the Loch so weird, 
In dark, sequestered spot ; 

A harbinger of faithful love — 
The sweet Forget-me-not. 

" At dead of night, be't dark or light. 
Now prove thy love for me, — 

Go, pluck it, and V\l meet thee 
By th' Allt na Guibhsaich tree ". 

** Enough, Sweet, 'tis as good as done, 
I'll pluck the flower for thee ; 

And, Love, thou'lt come and meet me 
By th* Allt na Guibhsaich tree ". 

With courtly mien he kissed her hand, 
And raised his plume on high, 

** Till midnight, dear, ** he gaily cried, 
"Till then, my Love— Good-bye ". 


Within proud Abergeldie's Halls, 
The music throbs and swells ; 

But none is there to say, ** they play 
Two loved ones* fiin'ral knells ". 

The stately minuet is danced, 
With wealth of old-world grace, 

And in the throng of gallants gay 
Is many a smiling face. 

But Lady Anne is ill at ease, 
Her bosom heaves, and sighs 

She fain would stifle move her breast- 
The mist stands in her eyes. 

And aye a voice was whispering : 
** Pve plucked the flower for thee. 

Sweet Love, then come and meet me 
By th* Allt na Guibhsaich tree ". 


She heeds not now the honeyed words 

That flow from courtly lips, 
And she withdraws her hand from one 

Who*d kiss its finger-tips. 

"Go saddle me a horse", she cries, 

" Through bracken and o'er root. 
This night I ride to Lochnagar, 

And climb the hill on foot ". 

Out on the night so black and grim, 

Is heard the distant sound 
Of gathering storm. The moaning wind 

Sobs eerily around. 

Yet, 'spite the dark and lowering night. 

On, on through dub and mire 
She rides, and pauses not to think. 

But seeks her heart's desire ! 

But, aye the voice kept whispering : 

"I've plucked the flower for thee. 
Sweet Love, now come and meet me 

By th' Allt na Guibhsaich tree ". 

Soon is she at the trysting tree. 

And hastily dismounts ; 
While the tardy laggard moments 

Impatiently she counts. 

" Why does my Love, the brave Sir James, 

Thus keep his tryst with me " ? 
She looks beseechingly to heaven, 

Then bends to kiss the tree. 

E'en, while she speaks her thoughts revert 

To that secluded spot. 
Where she has told her Love he'll find 

The sweet Forget-me-not. 

1 82 LOCHNAbAR. 

She thinks she sees the comes grim 

Stand out in frowning pride ; 
** Great God ! he may be dead ", she screams, 

** Would I were by his side "! 

Then, as she ran to climb the hill, 

From out the sullen North, 
The storm that had been gathering, 

Impetuously broke forth. 

The lightning flashed from peak to peak, 

The thunder pealing deep ; 
The wind, with loud and threatening howl, 

Adown the corries steep 

Rushed, with a great and mighty noise ; 

The rain and blinding sleet 
Dashed 'gainst the crags with hissing sound 

In one huge crashing sheet. 

Up to the precipice she climbs, 

All panting, wet, and worn ; 
And peering through the darkness, she 

Seeks traces of the morn. 

Now, trembling kneels she on the brink. 

Amid the storm's wild shriek. 
Her arms outstretched in mute appeal, 

So child-like and so weak. 

'* Come back, come back, my Love ", she cries, 
" Comeback, come back to me"; 

The wind with mocking laugh replies, 
** He'll ne'er come back to thee ". 

And, as she kneels in mute despair, 

"With cruel, searching flash, 
The lightning plays adown the Loch ; 

And, ere the thunder's crash 


She sees her faithful Lover stretched, 

Within his hand the flower, 
The pale-blue, sad Forget-me-not, 

That's now to be her dower. 

She sees him but for an instant — 

For God is ever kind — 
Yet, the flash that reveals the Lover 

Has struck the loved one blind ! 

'Tis said, when nights are eerie, 
When wind drives from the North, 

A sobbing and a wailing. 
Out on the air break forth ; 

And a voice is heard to whisper : 
"I've plucked the flower for thee, 

Sweet Love, then come and meet me 
By th' Allt na Guibhsaich tree ". 


Dark figures (thus 104) denote the page referring more particularly to the 


Aberarder Z04, laS 

Abei:geldie, . -84, 87, 89, 91 

Aboyne, Earl of, . 142 

Adders, 140 

Agricultural Survey o/A berdten- 

«/uV« (Keith s), . .14,88 

Allt a' Chlaiginn, . . za8, 129 

„ Choire Bhoidheach, . . 19, 65 
„ Mhaide, .... 50 
an Dubh Loch, . .63, 67 

„ Loch, .... 125 
„ Lochan Buidhe, . 19, 63 

„ t-Snechda, ... 28 

Coire Ghuibhais, . . 122 

Darrarie, • 3** 7^ 

Lochan an Eoin, . 106, 140 

na Claise Moire, . . 11 1 

,, Da Chraobh Bheath, 19, 66, 136 
„ Guibhsaich, 20, 50, 74-6, 8r 

„ Phadruig, .... 122 
Alltan Dearg,^ .... 57 
Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge, a6, 39, so-a, 57, 
61, 66, 72, 73 
An t-Sron, . - ... 57 
Arrowmakcr's Well, .128 

Auchallater, . . .112, zaz 

Auchendryne, • "5 

Aucholzie, 44 

Autumnal Rambles among the 
Scottish Mountains (Grierson's), 54 

Bachnagaim 66, 67 

" Badachabait, Meikle Stane o' ", 140 

Badgers, 138 

Ballater, 22, 33 

„ Bridge of, ... 24 
„ Pass of, .... 8s 

Ballaterach, 154 

Ballochbuie Forest, . 83, 99, 105, 150 
Balmoral, . . 83, 87, 92, 95, 97 
Barracks (Ballater). ... 84 
„ (Braemar), . . .114 
" Barrone of Brachlie, The", 27 

Beannachd Leat, . • i Ji 

Ben a' Bhuird, . . . . iii 

Ben Avon 77> 104 

Bennachie, .... 81, 145 

Birch Wine, 

,45, 48, 87, c 

25, 39, 44, 4; 
Birks o' Abergeldie, The ", 

Black Bum 54, 56, 66 

„ Hijl, 54 

,, Shiel Bum 140 

„ Spout, The, '149 

Blackie, Professor John S., . 134 

Blaeu's Map, 17 

Blair, William, . . -94 

" Blue Drammer, The ", 91 

Bo^.gi!Jio;. : : • • " 


„ Castle. . 
„ Churchyard, 
,, Royal Highland Society, 
Braes of Glasallt, . 
Breakneck Fall, . 
Bridge of Ballater, 
„ „ Clunie, 
,, ,, Dee (Invercauld), 

„ I, .,. Muick, 

Broad Caim, 

Brown, Barbara, . 
„ John, 

Brace (Exciseman), 

Byron, Lord, 

Ca Cuim, 

Cac Cam Beag, . 
,,. J. Mor, . 

Caim Bannoch. 
„ o' Mounth, . 
„ ofCorbreach, 
„ „ Corbroc, . 

^»i Taggart . 

Cairngorms, The, . 

Caimgorm Stones, 

Caledonian Forest, 

Callater Bum, 

Cameron. William, 

Cameron s Well, . 

CanupHill, . 


. 161 
ZZ5, 119 

. 24, J7 
• 134 
. X16 
Z05, X08 
. 85, 86 
25, 36. 37. 39 
64, 146 



17, 77, X54 

18, &c. 

64. 135, 146 

19, «38 

. Z38 
127, 128, 133 
121, 139, 158 

. 139 

16, zaz, T22 



. 104 



Capel Mounth, . 13, 31, 33, 50, 67 

Carn a' Choire Bhoidheacn, . 18, 138 

an t-Sagairt B«ag, 
„ „ „ Mor, 
„ „ Tuurc. 
„ na Cuimnue, 
Castleton, ^ . 
Cattle grazing, 
Causey Mounth, . 
Ceittc Scotland (Skene's), 
Charter Chest, . , 
Ciche Beag, 

,, Mhor, . 
"Civil Bonnets", 
Clashrathan s Cairn, 
Clova, Milton of, . 
Clunie, Bridge oif, 
„ Glen, 
„ Mill on the, 
„ Muckle Stane o' 
„ Water of, .^ 
Cnap Nathaireacbin, 


. 19,20 
X9, ao, 127 
. 134 
. X03 
114, 119, lao 
52, 140 



. JO, 79 




; .S 


112, X19 

. X18 


t6, 1x9 



ao, 26, :ii, 75, 77 


Copkuid, Samuel, 
Coire an Daimh Mhoile, 

„ Lochan an Eoin, 

,, na Ciche, ^ . 

„ „ Saobhaidhe, 

„ Uilleim Mhoir, 
Corrie of Lochn^ar, 

„ Flower, The, 
" Couper " Glass, 
Cojrles, The, 
Craig Choinnicb, 

„ Clunie, 

,, Gowan, 

„ nam Ban, 
Craieendarroch, . 
Crathie Church, . 
„ Churchyard, 
„ Free Church, 
Crawford, Earl of, 
Creag a' Ghlas-uillt, 

„ „ Ghobhsdnn, 

,, an Dubh-Loch, 

„ „ Fhir-shaighde, 

„ „ Leisdhair, 

,, „ Loch, 

„ „ Lurachain, 

„ Bheag, ^ . 

„ na h-Iolaire, 

„ „ Sithinn, . 

,j Phadruig, . 
Cuidhe Crom, 
Danzig Shiel, 

Dee, Bridge of (Invercauld), 
„ Foordsof; 


• 137 

• 153 
. 13X 
81, 144 

• J79 

16, 39. 47 

», 1x4, 120 

X05, iia 

xoo, 146 

. 24, «5 


• 19. 63 



; li 

19. 26. 74, 76, 8x 

Douglas (Home's), 

" Drumthwacket, Muir of", 


DubhLoch, . . . . 

Duchess of Kent, . 

Duke of Edinbttigh, . 

» . » Fife, 
Earlof Aboyne, . 

,, ,, Crawford, . 

.. „ Fife, . 



• 58, ^3-5 

. 87 



. 48, 64, 139 

. 142 


. . . 85, 96 

.. ^, - . 27, 43. 44. 9«, 15s 

,, „ Mar, . 43, 9x, 111, 113-6, 127 

Blaster Balmoral, ... 77, 31 

,. Micras Bum, ... 86 

Edinbttigh, Duke of, . 66 

Edinburgh New Phil. Journal^ 24, 150 

Emi>ress Eugenie, . . .78, 88 

Fairies, .... 122, 140 

Falls of Alltan Dearg, 57 

„ „ GarbhAUt, . 106, xxi 

„ „ GlasAllt, . 52,61,66 

„ ,, Muick, . . . 25,39,48 

Farquharson, Colonel, ... 27 

„ Ian, ... . 129 

., John, m, 113, X14 

Feardar Bum, . . . 104 

Feindallacher Bum, . 106 

Fife, Duke of, . . 114,115,119 

r.-" J^"" ?*"' • • • • • ^5. 96 

Fir Mounth, 13 

,. Roads, 54 

Flower, Th^ Corrie '179 

FoordsofDee, .... 12 
Forbes, Arthur, • • • • 43 
Ford of Inschnabobart, . 26, 28 

Fox Caim Well, .... 79 
Frankie, Peter, .... 88 
Gaim, Bridge of, . .85, 86 

Garbh AUt, . . . zo6, 138, 141 
„ „ Falls of, . . . X06, ixi 

Geallaig, 86 

Geikie, Sir A., LL.D., F.K.S., . 159 

Colder Bum, . 74, 77, 79, 80, 104 

Geldie.Bura, .... 87 

Geological Society ^ Quart.. J ou.o/y 158 

Geology, . . . . .157 

Gmiock, Strath, . • 31, 78, 86 

Glas Allt, . .19, 6z, 66, 141 

„ „ Falls of, . 52,61,66 

„ „ Tongue of, . . . 6i 

Glasallt, Braes of, . • • • 57 

„ Shiel, 52, 58, 59, 62, 66, 129 

Glass " Couper ", ... 33 

Glen CaUater, 112,119,121 

„ Qova, . . 106, ia6 

„ Clunie, . . 112, 119 

„ Doll, .... 106, 195 

„ Gelder, . .20, 62, 74 

" «, '» , ^****'' '•'79 

,, Muick,. . . 25 

Glengaira, Church of, . 85 

1 86 





• 25, »7 

36, 40, 131 

as, "B, 29 






Glenmuick Church (new), 
„ (old), 

„ Churchyard, 

„ House, 

Gordon, Alasdair, 

„ Alexander, 

„ Donald, 



,, Sir Robert, ... 99 

Gordons of Abeigeldie, 40, 43, 44, 50, 61, 

63, 88 

Grampians, The, . • 9, " 

Grant, Peter, • "4 

Gricreon, Rev. T., 51, 54, 75, 115, 148 

Heather, White, .... 140 

Home, John, X3 

Houston, George, ... 154 

Hinxman, Lionel, B.A., , 160 

Huntly, Earl of^ . 27, 43, 44, 92, 155 

,, Marquis of, . . X43 

"Hut, The", . . . 50,75,88 

Illustrations — 

Lochnagar. (fix>m the N.), 

Ballater . ( „ S.), 

Glenmuick House ( „E.N.E.;, 

Bridge of Muick ( „ E.) 

Knock Castle 

Birkhall . 

Glasallt Shiel . 

Dubh Loch . , 

AUtnaguibhsaich Lo.( 

Abergeldie Castle ( 

Crathie Church . ( 

Old Balmoral Castle( 

Prince Albert's Cairn, 

Statue of Queen, 


Braemar Castle . 

Mill on Clunie . { 

Loch Callater . ( 

Lochnagar (corrie) ( 


„ Foiti of, 

Inver, .... 

„ Muir of, 
Invercauld Bridge, 
„ House, 
Jamieson, John, . 

T.F., F.G.S., 
Jock's Road, . 
Jones, Admiral, . 
Justice Junr & Co. , J . , 
Keith, Rev. G.S.. D.D., 
Kent, Duchess of, 
Knock Castle, 
Kyndrochet, . 
Ladder, The, 

Liufy of ike Lake, The (Scott' 
Laird's Bed, The . 
Leaves (The Queen's), 

J5-), "3 
N.E.), III 

39, 43, 43 

1X4, "6 
74, 76. 81 
s), . 56 
56, 150 

Linn Wood, The, . 
Lion's Face, The, . 
Little Cairn Tag^art, 

„ Conachcraig, 

.„ Pap, . 
Littlejohn's Bridge, 
Loch Callater, 119, 

„ „ Lodge, 

,, Candor, > 

„ Ceann-mor, . 

„ Muick, . 
„ Phadruig, 
Lochan Buidhe, . 

„ an Eoin, . 

„ Dubh, . 

„ na Feadaige, 

,. „ Tarmarnan, 
Boundaries of, . 
Corrie of, . 
Deaths on . 
Distillery, . 
Extent of, . 
Height of, . 
Loch of, • 
Lost on. 
Meaning of, 
Routes to — 



Dubh Loch, . 

GlenGelder, . 

Smuggler's Shank, 

South, . 

Strath Gimock, 
Situation of, 
Snow on, . 
Stanzas on. 
Summits of, 
Time of ascent, . 
View from, . 
Lome, Marquis of, 
"Loupin'-on Stane ", 
MacgiUivray, Prof. W., LL. 

M 'Hardy, Allan, . 
Macintosh, Donald, 
,, Rob, . 
Mackenrie, Sir Allan, . 

,. ., James T., 

MacKenae, W. A., 
Mackenzies of Dalmore, 
Mackinnon, Prof. D., M.A., 
Mar, Earls of, 43, 91, xii 
Marquis of Huntly, 

„ J, Lome, 
Meall Coire na Saobhaidhe, 
„ Dubh, 
,, na Gaineimh, 







o, X36 

20, 20 

"3, 133 
67, X26 




8x, 144 






17, 146, 149 

»53, 153 



23, "9 


77, «04 




9, 14 

14, 150 







105, X22, 

134, 147, J57 




. 25,67 

. 27, 28 

j-6, 127 




Meall na Tionail, .140 

Meikle Cairn Taggart, ... 20 

»» ?*P' • . «• ,^9\ ^» 3*» 75. 76, 79 
„ Staneo Badachabait, 140 

„ Willie's Corrie, , X3X, 135 


Mill of Stern, ■ 25, 39, 

„ on the Clunie, 

Milton of Clova, . 

Mitchell, John, . 

Moine Bad nan Cabar, 

Monaltrie House, . 
„ Street, . 

Monelpie Moss, .,., 

Mor Shron 120 



Mount Keen, 

Mounth, The, 

„ The White, . 

Mowatof Abereeldie, . 

Muckle Stane & Clunie, 

Muick, Bridge of, 
„ Falls of, . 
„ Spiulof, . 

" Muir of Dnunthwacket ", 

„ „ Inver, .... 

Natural History o/Deeside and 
Braemar (Macgillivray's), . 157 

"Nether Lochaber", ... 18 

Orygvnall Cronykil of Scottand 
(Wyntoun's), . . . 11 

" Pack Merchant's" Cairn, . 34 

Pannanich, 23 

Pass of Ballater, .... 85 

Pennant, Thomas, ... 49 

People's Journal^ .156 

Phsulruig, Priest, 122, 126 

Poacher^ Well, .... 141 

The Spectre Stag, ... 68 
Beannachd Leat, • 131 

Lochnagar, . 155 

The Corrie Flower, . 179 

Priest's Well 126 

Prince Albert, 

13. 76. 77. 81 
. 9, II 

87, 136 


25, 36. 37. 39 
• 25, 39. 4« 
26. 3«. 55 


SI, 52, 61, 79, 83, 96, 99, 
100, 103, III 


44, 47, 88, 99 

„ Caun, 

Pnnce of Wales, The, 
Prince's Drive, The, 

Princess Louise, .... 64 

„ ^ Roval's Cairn, 104 

Ptarmigan Shootinz, . -141 

Quarry of Corbreacn, . .138 

Quarterly Journal of Gtol. Soc., . 158 

Queen, The, 10, 24, 25, 44, 47, 49-53, 

56-8, 61, 62, 64, 73, 78, 84, 

87, 88, 92, 93, 95, 99, 102, 

103, 10s, 114, 150, 157 

Red Spout, llie 149 

Robson, G. Fenwell, ... 24 

Routes to Locbnagat^- 
Ballater, . 
Braemar, . 
Dubh Loch, 
Glen Gelder, . 
Smuggler's Shank, . 
South, 136 



23, ««9 


77, »04 


Strath Gimock, . 
Roy, John, LL.D., 
St. Andrews (Braemar), 
St. Columba's Chapel, . 
St. Nathalan's Church, 
Sandy Loch, . . , . 
Scenery of Scotland (fjfSkvt'&\ . 

„ „ the Grampian MouK' 

/a>u (Robson's), 
Scotland, Celtic (Skene's), . 
Scott, Sir Walter, . . 

Scottish Dictionary (Jamieson's), 
Scurry Stane .... 


Skene, W. F., D.C.L., LL.D., . 
Slug Mounth, .... 
Smith, William, 

Smuggler's Shank, 

. 78, 86 
■ 25, 27 
. 138 






10, 12 


X06, 150, 153 

Smugglina;, . 35, 64, 75, 79, vA, 130 
Snow on Lochnagar, . . 14, 150 

26, 3x, 55 

. 149 





39, "5, 139 

25, 39, 44 




31, 78, 86 

• 94 

. 138 

.63, 67, 130 

Souter's " Cairn, 
South Esk, . . .3 
Spectre Stag, The, 
Spital of Muick, . 
Spout, The Black, 

„ ,, Red, . 
Sron Dubh, . 
Stag, The Spectre, 
Stags, .... 
Statistical Account, The, 
Stem, Mill of, 
Stewart, Rev. A., LL.D., 
Stewart's Cairn, . 
Stiren, .... 
Strath Gimock, . 
" Strowan Robertson ", 
Stuc Lochan an Eoin, 
"Stullan, The". . . v^, v 

Summer Ramble in the North 

Highlands, A, 
Tacheera, . 
Tait's Magazine, . 

Teetabootie, . . . a6, 32, 35 

Time of ascent (Lochnagar), . 74 
Tolmount, . • • 13, 125 

Tomintoui, 120 

Tongue of the GlasAllt, . 61 

Tullich a3, 28 

View from Lochnagar, . •145 

Water of Clunie, . . 16, 1x9 

„ The White, . • '37 

Well, Arrowmaker's, . .128 

„ Cameron's, .... 76 

„ FoxCaim, ... 79 

. T07 
• J42 
151, 154 

1 88 


Well, Poacher's, . 

,, Priest's, 
Wells of Pannanich, 
White heather, . 




White Mounth, The, . 


„ Mounu, The, . 


„ Water, The, 





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